Art & Lifestyle Cynthia Turner Print Issues The Language Issue

The Art of Words – a photo essay

Written and photographed by Cynthia Turner


The idea of graffiti as art or desecration is a debate I remember noticing at a very young age. I still do not have a clear stance on the issue. However, I do believe that every human needs self-expression. We need words to last through a permanent medium to know that our thoughts are deserving of a permanence beyond ourselves.



“I named the plant Ginger because it’s gender ambiguous.” -Grace Gilker

I still don’t know what the sign means by “physical plant parking only”, but we figured it was probably reserved just for Grace and Ginger.
“It’s a quote from one of my favorite books, The Amber Spyglass. It’s something that resonated with me because I love to write. The hardest part was actually deciding on a font knowing it was something that was going to be on my body forever.” -Jordan Smith

“I don’t actually support Donald Trump. I wrote him a letter. I don’t even know if he read it, but he sent a package with all this campaign stuff. At least I’d like to think Trump sent it himself and not just some campaign staff. I wear it because it’s funny. Sometimes people really think I support Donald Trump. I’m definitely conservative, but I haven’t decided on which candidate I want to support yet.” -Varun Upneja

After the pictures, Varun and I spent a while talking about most of the major, campaign issues. He’s probably one of the most educated voters I know.

I remember as a freshman using the Burdine girls restroom for the first time. I stopped for a second and read every comment in the stall. In that moment, I somehow felt a part of an unspoken community. Girls at the university were expressing their understandings of religion, their deepest fears, their miscellaneous thoughts. I read original thoughts next to responses of approval or modest disagreement. I still feel the same reverence every time I step into that bathroom. We are women, and we are thinking, expressing, and understanding in solidarity.

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