“How many people love art, but can’t do it because they’re bio majors?” asks President Sophomore Keely Houk of the SMCM Art Club.
One of the major goals of the newly formed Art Club is to be a space not only for students who have dedicated their studies to the arts, but also for those who simply want to include more creativity in their lives at St. Mary’s. “We really want to create a community for artistic people on campus,” says Houk.
“It’s really a stress free environment,” said first year Raziela Manangan, as she and other members sat sketching possible logos for the Art Club’s t-shirt design contest.
“I’ve been drawing for all my life, and only recently started taking it more seriously,” said Jaina Beatley-Patterson, a first year. “I think the club [will be] a nice mix of doodling and enjoyment”. Though the club has a large population of first years in its assembly, upperclassmen who found a lack of artistic opportunities in their academic lives also joined the ranks. Junior Tessa Haynes said last year that she had an interest in the creation of a student-driven Art Club, but like many, had little time to fit anything into her busy schedule. “I don’t really get to do much art in my day to day classes, so this is a good place for that,” she said.
Art Club pushes its members to sharpen their artistic skills and broaden their creativity through different exercises. “At our first club meeting, we did an activity where everybody had to sketch each other, and then we switched off so we had two different portraits,” said Houk. They also have plans to bring in live models for members to practice drawing.
President Houk and Vice President Junior Edward Brence also elaborated on the club’s plans for possible future events that can include the entire school population, not just students in the club. “We have talked about a kind of Art Fest, where at the end of the spring semester we want to portray everybody’s work,” said Houk.
Brence continued, “We’d love to have this place where everyone can go around and see what people on campus are doing, and possibly incorporate some music and food and make a day of it.”
The club executives have also talked about the possibility of creating a student-designed mural somewhere on campus. The club’s board is working closely with staff sponsor and Art Professor Carrie Patterson to carry out their plans.
Art Club was formed out of frustration for the lack of a space for artistically inclined students to meet and express themselves. Houk stated, “Last year I think the big thing for us was that the arts were struggling; so we wanted to say, well, look at how much it affects all of us, look how many of us are involved.”
“There was this idea on campus that the arts were lagging—but that’s not the case here,” said Brence. Houk agreed, saying, “We had 102 students sign up for the club. There’s definitely interest.”
Art Club meets Tuesday nights at 8:00 pm, in Montgomery Hall 105.