Telephone Game Creative translation from artist to artist

How does a dance become a painting, or a monologue become a piano performance? In the summer of 2020, a game of translation began among artists around the world. "On its surface, TELEPHONE is simple. Based on the children's game, a message is "whispered" from art form to art form. Each artist receives a work and translates the message into their own art form. The original message could become poetry, and then music, then film, and so on, evolving as it passes from form to form. Artists are only aware of the work of art that directly preceded their own." (read more about TELEPHONE here)

Christina Soriano, Professor of Dance and Associate Provost for the Arts, used her entry in the International TELEPHONE Game to begin a new branch of the game at Wake Forest.

Wake Forest's brilliant Presidential Scholars in Art, Theatre, Dance, and Music joined in and created a new branch in this international conversation. A pair of student artists made work inspired by the original dance video, others made work inspired by their work, and the creativity continued to flow. Follow along with these wonderful experiments as they translate ideas and emotions from one medium to another.

Samantha Goodman ('21)

Presidential Scholar in Art

Facetune, by Samantha Goodman ('21)
"After first seeing Professor Soriano's video, the message that stood out to me was the connection between humans and nature. Every scene within the video found a new way to establish a link between these two ideas. This is what I drew the majority of my inspiration from. Another element that stood out was the use of motion within the video. I wanted to display motion in my piece by placing the faces into different positions, as if they were turning to face the audience. Water also stuck out to me as an important part of the narrative. The beginning of the video features no sound, and ends with the image and sound of flowing water. Water again builds the connection of humans and nature, with water being the source of all life. All of these components lead to the creation of my final piece, which draws off of the circular nature of life, that starts and ends with our connection to the environment around us."
Samantha Goodman ('21)

Samantha Goodman ('21) is an artist from Greenville, North Carolina. Originally working in oil paintings, she found her love for drawing with colored pencil and graphite in high school. During her junior year she produced a series on mental health which received a scholastic art award. She also had a self portrait displayed in the Greenville Museum of Art. Since then she has experimented in sculpture and has continued to cultivate her work in pencil. She is currently pursuing a minor in studio art.

<< Samantha created this piece in her home studio

Cameron Michles ('23)

Presidential Scholar in Theatre

Time by Growth, monologue by Cameron Michles ('23)
"Samantha created a beautiful and emotional piece of art, and I was initially quite intimidated to be translating it. There was so much detail and so much passion in the message I received, and it was daunting to attempt to put those feelings into words. The idea for my monologue grew from the connections I found between each element of the piece of art. I noticed myself focusing on one piece of the message at a time instead of the work as a whole, so I took this idea of separation and ran with it. My monologue was meant to look at the pieces first and then appreciate their interaction. The piece I was given spoke about art, life, and challenges, and how fluid the relationship between these things are. These concepts and our connections to them are what inspired my monologue “Time by Growth.”
Cameron Michles ('23)

Cameron Michles is a sophomore from Pensacola Beach, Florida, planning to major in Theatre and Biology with minors in Psychology and Neuroscience. Cameron is a Presidential Scholar in Theatre with specialties in acting, playwriting, and directing. She is an active member of the Anthony Aston Players, the theatre service organization on campus, and is currently serving on its executive board. Cameron was last seen on Wake’s stage in the Anthony Aston Players’ production of “Gruesome Playground Injuries,” and she will be participating in the writing and performance of “Young Voices of Protest” later this semester.

<< Cameron's writing spot

Emma Martin ('23)

Presidential Scholar in Art

"Translating Cameron's short work was a really fun process for me because I had to push myself to think how I could translate it visually. I was struck by how well the author was able to create images with their words and by how transcendental their ideas were, they reminded me of romantic writers such as Wordsworth or maybe Thoreau in how they described the spiraling of progress. I was able to take these initial reactions and come up with a composition inspired by them. I used a combination of watercolor and oil pastel to symbolize the flow of time (fleeting like water) and the vibrant ideas described by the original author."
Emma Martin ('23)

<< Where Emma created her work

Jasmine Marshall ('21)

Presidential Scholar in Music (Composition)

"Emma's lovely piece of art was a pleasure to translate into music! Being somewhat abstract, it was challenging to interpret; however, to me it appeared to represent the passage of time. Water dripping from an open hand, the outline of an hourglass, and green leaves turning to autumn colors all seem to indicate this central message. In my music, I tried to communicate this message as well by integrating key changes and changes in mood throughout the piece."
Jasmine Marshall ('21)

Jasmine Marshall is a first-year student at Wake Forest University. Her major is currently undeclared, but her interests include psychology, philosophy, and music. She is currently studying music composition with Dr. Dan Locklair. She spent her senior year of high school as a student of UNCSA, where she studied music composition with Dr. Michael Rothkopf. She enjoys writing works for piano and other instruments, and will occasionally write vocal works as well. She’s a Winston-Salem native, and her hobbies include running, baking, playing the piano, and going hiking with her older brother.

<< Jasmine's piece was created and recorded on campus

Sean Jones ('21)

Presidential Scholar in Theatre

Enlight, by Sean Jones ('21)
"I absolutely loved Jasmine's piano piece that I received, and I really wanted to communicate the transition between the bright, almost adventurous beginning and the somber, peaceful conclusion. It reminded me of the changing of seasons, and I wondered if instead of communicating the change of seasons through painting the seasons themselves, if I could communicate that change through artistic medium. Inside the main frame of the piece was made using gouache, and the branches of the tree extend outside the frame into a black and white, chillier ink medium. I really wanted to capture the brightness of the piano piece while also respecting its more soulful moments."

<< Sean was inspired by this tree on campus

Meghan Pressimone (‘21)

Presidential Scholar in Art

"My experience translating Professor Soriano's work was deeply rooted in the mix of visual motifs presented. I also responded very heavily to the emotion and movement of figures that I saw. I suppose my response, without thinking too hard, aimed to be a more literal translation of the artwork in the hopes that future telephone players got the message!"
Meghan Pressimone ('21)

Meghan Pressimone is a senior at Wake Forest with a Chemistry major and minors in Spanish and Studio Art. As a Presidential Scholar in Art, Meghan is most invested in oil painting, but also enjoys three-dimensional art. Flowing forms and femininity characterize much of her work.

<< Meghan's art spot

Melissa Cooney (‘21)

Presidential Scholar in Art

Breaking Free, by Melissa Cooney ('21)
"When I first saw Meghan's image, I felt as though the subject was dying or in pain, and wanted to escape. The subject of my photo is one of my best friends, Christina McGee, and I wanted to utilize her talent for ballet to create a powerful image of breaking free and starting over. Here, we see Christina wrapped around the tree, showing how it is an extension of her body. Another hand is pulling her away from the tree, representing the beginning of something new. I really enjoyed the translation process, and had fun including the art of dance in my photo interpretation. Having to release the notion of getting the assignment "correct" was a challenge for me, but this project was a reminder to me that art is all about interpretation anyway!"

Melissa Cooney ('21) is a senior from Long Island, New York. She is majoring in Communication with a concentration in media studies, and is minoring in both Journalism and in Studio Art. Melissa has been making films and taking photos her whole life, and is passionate about art in these mediums. She is hoping to pursue a career in either television production or reporting, and taking her love of the camera with her!

<< Melissa created her work on Ranch Drive in Winston-Salem

Georgia Orchid (‘24)

Presidential Scholar in Theatre (Performance)

"I draw a lot, it started with doodling through school and now I draw and paint all the time in a navy blue notebook. I decided to respond to my telephone game with a drawing because I never share my visual art and because of theatre, my artistic expression is usually focused around language. When I first saw Melissa's nature dance picture, my eye was drawn to her ballet shoe in front of the tree. Something I'm afraid people won't get about my drawing is that the little pink smudges are tethered ballet shoes.I usually draw people and I've never tried to draw a picture out of continuous lines. My favorite part about my picture is to zoom in and see the detail that makes up the picture. Creating this piece was fun and honestly a little therapeutic, but, my right hand hurts SO BAD because of the fine motor skills! I had a lot of fun making this, and after my carpal tunnel or whatever I did to myself heals, I'll be sure to do it again!"
Georgia Orchid (‘24)

Hi! My name's Georgia Orchid, I'm from Austin, Texas and I'm really excited to be at Wake! It's my freshman year and I'm on the pre-med track and plan to minor in Theatre and Spanish. I'm a Presidential Scholar for Theatre, a member of the rock climbing club, and in the spring I plan on interning as an athletic training assistant! In my free time I like to run, write, play guitar, drive with all the windows down, and eat Tex Mex.

<< Georgia's creative surfaces

Brighid Biehl (‘24)

Presidential Scholar in Art

"To me, Georgia's piece translates to following your passion even if that means venturing into the unknown. The piece leads the viewer to an ominous future, not yet known, by having a path that leads to nowhere. The two trees lining the path are changing colors, symbolizing fall. To me, this symbolism represents that as you embark on this unknown pathway, one must be prepared for change. The ballerina shoes hanging from the trees make the viewer draw the connection to following one's passion, the shoes act as a reminder along the pathway for why one is choosing to begin an unknown journey into their future. My piece represents my own interpretation of following your passion. I chose to paint a peaceful fall scene to represent an inviting adventure. The viewer sees warm tones of red, pinks, oranges, and yellows which represent fall and change that comes with each new adventure one starts. The viewer is inspired to go and frolic in the wildflower field and is overcome with curiosity of what the barn has to offer. This piece is symbolic of beginning a new adventure much like the way we would as children."
Brighid Biehl (‘24)

My creative practice is technically driven and includes pieces that show a wide range of my abilities. Oil paint is a medium in which I excel. Many of my oil paintings are very traditional and show my exploration of paint application. I have recently been exploring more conceptual and thought provoking concepts, as well as a variety of new mediums. I have branched out to use acrylic, pastels, and modeling paste. Some of my most recent pieces are focused on the environment and my personal political views. In the future I hope to explore more complex issues plaguing society.

<< I painted this piece partially in my room and also outside of Luter Residence Hall at a picnic table.

Amanda Black (‘21)

Presidential Scholar in Dance (Ballet)

"I always enjoy relaying nature through dance. This summer, I read "The Overstory" by Richard Powers and called upon his descriptions of trees to inform my movement. When the tree is filled with color, I am trying to breathe life into my dancing, but when I see jagged lines in pen, I am breaking the ends of my movement, and not finishing a step to completion, but rather to disruption. My final movement is trying to embody the tree's settling into stillness, returning to a "snapshot," much like Brighid's painting."
Amanda Black ('21)

Amanda Black is from Boston, Massachusetts, where she majored in Dance at Walnut Hill School for the Arts. After graduating, she took a job dancing for Ballet Austin in Austin, Texas. Although she loved exploring a career in dance, she decided to attend Wake Forest University, where she is a Biology major and Dance minor and spends her free time teaching ballet to members of the Winston-Salem community and teaching Zumba to Wake Forest Students.

Created By
Steve Morrison