Seen at Target: Visual Reflections on Courtland Blade's 'The Super Store'

The Super Store, Courtland Blade

The Super Store, Courtland Blade

“Is this Target? This is probably an old Target,” someone said as we opened our discussion over nearly empty cardboard pizza boxes. Leftover grease slowly pooled and absorbed into the rough cardboard. At least two others hummed in agreement. “This is the back of a Target.”

One of my favorite parts of being an intern at the Harrison Center this summer has been the ekphrastic exercises we did over lunch, led by literary intern Emily Neuharth. An ekphrastic exercise by definition is a rhetorical writing exercise where the writer has free reign to talk about whatever they like pertaining to the prompt. I think we connected to Courtland Blade's painting, The Super Store, because it brought up specific memories for a lot of us. It inspired a lot of discussion on the general aesthetic of the inside of a Target store. Most of us were drawn to the red neon on the wall. That glowing red squiggle was the inspiration for a few ‘blind’ contour drawings  and haikus I created to describe certain ‘types’ of people you might encounter at Target.

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Small coffee, no cream
Just a math teacher grading
Decompress the day

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Light blue gatorade
Cale is at soccer now
Hurry don’t miss it

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New baby at home
Go get formula she said
What is BPA?

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Fresh meat on campus
Level up dorm room swagger
Hoo-hoo-hoo Hoosiers!