The Baker Orange

Letters show inner feelings

Story by Caitlin Stevenson

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When one door shuts, a window usually opens.

For Instructor of Art Jennifer Jarnot, that window came through a gallery full of written letters expressing the innermost thoughts and feelings of members of the Baker University community.

The official name for this letter-writing project is “Letters: Words Matter.” Jarnot initiated the project after a group canceled at the last minute and she needed a show to fill the Holt-Russell Gallery.

Jarnot said she did a project like this one more than 20 years ago while she was an undergraduate student.

More than 60 participants, made up mostly from the art department, submitted anonymous letters to be displayed in the gallery from now until the show ends April 9. The official open house for this project was Thursday in the Holt-Russell Gallery.

“It has definitely been a success,” Jarnot said.

A wide variety of subjects have been addressed in the letters. A few letters were written to parents and a few contain questions. Other letters were written in memoriam and others had apologies. The project is designed to express one’s innermost feelings while remaining nameless.

“One of the letters that really stands out, I actually hung it first, is a person’s longing to quit the sports team that they’re on,” Jarnot said. “It’s really heartbreaking and sad because you can tell they feel trapped.”

Senior Angela Slaughter said she participated in the gallery show as a part of her photography class. She said even though the project had little to do with photography, she understands why Jarnot assigned it.

“I think it was a good idea,” Slaughter said.

Slaughter said she thinks her letter was not very creative, but she would like to participate in the project again in the future if it is offered.

“I wrote (the letter) to a friend of mine who is going through a hard time,” Slaughter said. “It was more uplifting.”

Junior Logan Gallardo was also involved with the assignment through her photography class. She said the letters were a good way to say things you need to say and get things off your chest.

"It was fun and interesting," Gallardo said.<br/>