Anna Iwasaki, '20 BM in Instrumental Strings and BA in Art History with Departmental Honors

headshot of honors student
Written by Cay Lane
June 1, 2020

Firstly, can you tell me about your honors project?

As a music and art history major, my honors project focuses on drawing connections between music and art through the concept of space, whether it be a recital or art gallery space. I realized that both art and music can hold personal significance for people. Because of this weight, it can be used as an effective storytelling tool. Art and music can even be a space that allows people to transport into their thoughts even momentarily and even sink into one’s own hidden narrative.

What is your hope for this project?

My original Honor’s project was to play a piece by William Grant Still titled “Summerland” inside the Hedreen Gallery. I researched ways to explore how the exhibition concurrently on display at the Hedreen Gallery “Abstractions of Black Citizenship” could become in dialogue with the music I am performing.

Due to COVID-19, I have shifted my concept of a physical space into a virtual one. Through this shift, I am able to recognize ways of removing the barrier of associating “space” with a physical location and instead embrace virtual work in allowing the community to participate in art from the comfort of their own home anywhere in the world.

Tell me a bit about your journey through SU and how that has led you to where you are today?

I believe I was inspired by my three years working at the Hedreen Gallery as a student desk assistant. I’ve observed in detail how an exhibition comes together and even helped out in any way I was able. Through this, I became fascinated by how powerful and meaningful artwork becomes when shown in a given space. I realized that both a space and the artworks attracted each other and when brought together, produce a magnificent impact.

Do you have any specific goals or a plan for after graduation?

As I go on to take the next step after graduation, I plan to pursue further study in museum curation. My four years at Seattle University have allowed me to experience the joy of creating narratives and within my fields of study, I have learned that narratives that can be conveyed through music and art. I hope to deepen my skills to create a space for different artists to share their narratives similar to how I, as a violinist and as an artist, explored ways to share William Grant Still’s narrative in dialogue with a virtual exhibition space.