Linfield faculty duo to discuss poetry, art at faculty lecture

Professors Ron Mills and Lex RuncimanTwo Linfield College professors, a poet and a painter, will muse about how they create at an upcoming faculty lecture.

Lex Runciman, professor of English, and Ron Mills de Pinyas, professor of art, will present “Making Paintings, Making Poems” on Wednesday, Nov. 18, at 7 p.m. in 201 Riley Hall at Linfield College.

The two will lead a dialogue, one that is in part between two arts – painting and the writing of poems – and in part between two artists. They will discuss improvisation, inspiration and the value of art and writing at an intellectual institution. They will also talk about how they start their work and the flow of their respective processes. Mills de Pinyas will show a montage of images from three series, including mural work, commissions and studio painting. Runciman will share poems of previous work.

“We’re interested in exploring ways that these two arts, and their ongoing practice, might echo or inform or even diverge from each other,” said Runciman. “How do paintings and poems happen?”

Runciman, at Linfield since 1992, has published textbooks, anthologies and five books of poetry. His most recent work, “One Hour That Morning and Other Poems,” was published this year and his work has appeared widely in magazines. He also reviews books in his blog, The Far Corner Reader. Runciman has twice been the recipient of the Edith Green Distinguished Professorship Award, recognizing a senior faculty member who demonstrates sustained excellence in the classroom, and he has also received the Julie Olds and Thomas Hellie Creative Achievement Award recognizing outstanding creative work.

Mills de Pinyas, a member of the Linfield faculty since 1979, is an artist, professor and researcher. His art work has been supported by the Fulbright Scholar Program and exhibited across the U.S. and in Asia and Latin America. One of his mural series was inaugurated at the Hallie Ford Center at Oregon State University, and supported and administered by the Oregon Arts Commission. He was the recipient of the Julie Olds and Thomas Hellie Creative Achievement Award recognizing outstanding creative work, and also received the Edith Green Distinguished Professorship Award in 1994. Mills was honored for longevity and the sustained level of productivity throughout his career at Linfield, in addition to the influence of his work, both nationally and internationally.

The lecture is free and open to the public. The Linfield College faculty lecture series offers one presentation each month by a member of the Linfield faculty. For more information, call 503-883-2409.