We’re featuring the artists from the Supper Table project throughout the summer. This is the 19th in our series on Supper Table Artists
Christina Xan came to the Jasper Project by way of playwright and academician Jon Tuttle who, though he directs the honors program at Francis Marion University and lives in Florence, is a founding member of the Soda Citizen Auxiliary (no, there is no such thing as this). Jon introduced Christina to me when she first came to grad school at USC. The next year, Christina approached me about serving as an intern with Jasper and we were delighted to bring her and all her talents on board.
To say Christina fit right in would be an understatement. To say she pitched right in would be even more of an understatement.
In the year Christina has been involved in the Jasper Project she has risen to every challenge presented to her. An avid blogger, Christina has shared her writing, photographic, graphic design, administrative, editorial, and immense personable skills with Jasper and our friends with generosity and enthusiasm.
When it came time to invite writers to join the Supper Table project as essayists, there was no question in my mind that the young artist should be included. In addition to writing about Eartha Kit, Christina also stepped in when we needed someone to take over writing about Mary McLeod Bethune.
But Christina’s most profound impact on the project has been in her role as assistant project director — in other words, assistant to me. So I know of what I speak. I jokingly say that when Christina came on board (and she actually is on the board of directors for the Jasper Project now) it was like I grew another arm. But that doesn’t really cover it. Having Christina’s assistance has been great, but it has been the gifts she has offered via her insights, contributions, attitude, and enthusiasm that have made the difference in this project. Every time I felt like I was drowning Christina would be there to tap me on the head and remind me the water wasn’t really that deep. Every time she would meet a new artist on the team she suddenly had a new best friend. Her kindness and selflessness have magnified the element of love and mutual appreciation that has so characterized this project tenfold. Working with Christina has been an absolute joy.
Christina Xan is a poet, playwright, photographer, and adjunct professor of English. She graduated with an MA from the University of South Carolina, where she is now pursuing her doctorate. Her work has been published by Snow Island Review and Z House Publishing, and her play Glass was turned into a short film that toured SC festivals in 2017. Her art is influenced by her life, as each story contains a different element of herself, and she is inspired by the concepts and questions people usually hide away from.