Student Writers Find Inspiration in Alumnae Pieces

This year, Iris, the literary and art magazine of Chatham Hall, will be undertaking a unique project, as a number of this year’s student-produced pieces will be inspired by past published submissions.
Iris co-editors Ginny Hopkins ’23 and Liliana Stinson ’23 got the idea of looking to the past for inspiration while they were exploring the School Archives during their free time. 

“They were writing about the same things we write about now, themes like heartbreak or even your dog, just decades ago,” said Hopkins. “A lot of their short stories are really beautiful and no one has read them since each issue of Iris was published.”

The pair used one issue from each decade, dating back to 1915, to introduce their idea to fellow student artists at a fall Iris meeting. Each interested artist will select a piece from a past issue and use it for inspiration for their submissions.

“I hope this year all of our writers feel connected to the students who came before them here, and that inspires them and they have fun with it,” said Hopkins. “Art is such a personal thing, and to take something that someone else did and let it inspire you really creates a special bond.” 

If there is enough interest, Hopkins and Stinson would be open to publishing an additional volume of the magazine this year — one with the companion pieces side-by-side with the alumnae writings and artwork that inspired each one. 

“As a creative person, I find I don’t always have time in my schedule to dedicate to art,” said Stinson. “I hope this project gives everyone a chance to sit down and dedicate time to something that they love. I hope it gives them the fuel to really execute their passions. I know that’s what I want as an artist, and I hope that they get that as well.”
800 Chatham Hall Circle  •  Chatham, VA 24531
+1 434.432.2941  •
Day and boarding school for girls grades 9 -12 in the Episcopal tradition.

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