Since the postponing of Folio’s request for campus publication status at the faculty meeting on April 2, Creative Director of Folio, senior Anne Horrell has been working in coordination with the Art Department to eliminate concerns.
Horrell has been meeting with Associate Professor of Art Mark Holmes to identify and find solutions to issues that are currently blocking Folio’s acceptance as an official campus publication.
“We did have a meeting with Mark Holmes on behalf of the Art Department on Friday of last week; I was there along with sophomore Andrei Papancea, who is next year’s creative director,” Horrell said.
The primary goal of the meetings is to develop a rapport between the Art Department and Folio, so that both bodies can benefit from the publishing of the magazine.
“The meeting went fine. We all understand each other, as well as what the concerns are and what the mission is of Folio. The Art Department and Folio are ready to work together so that Folio can succeed and flourish,” Horrell said.
Though discussions ensued, a consensus has yet to develop as to what Folio has to change in order to achieve publication status. Talks will continue until clear solutions to the problems are found and agreed upon.
Horrell said, “We haven’t reached an agreement or disagreement either way, we’re just kind of starting the conversation now as far as what Folio can address to smooth over any concerns that the Art Department has, and what the Art Department can do to help Folio. There hasn’t really been an agreement yet.”
However, Horrell has relayed that changes to the magazine are currently in the process of consideration by the staff.
“Folio is changing the kicker of the magazine. Originally it was, ‘The Knox College Visual Arts Journal,’ we got rid of the ‘Knox College’ because it isn’t an official publication yet, and then just called it ‘A Visual Arts Journal.’ But because it’s not necessarily just representing the Art Department, we’re changing it again. We’re currently playing with something like ‘The Creative Works Journal’ or something like that, to kind of reach a compromise and an agreement so that everyone is happy, but we’re still playing with that idea.”
Any changes to the magazine will be put into effect with the intent of easing concerns among the faculty and students alike.
“A few students have addressed a few concerns, and they’ve been Studio Art majors primarily, and their concerns are totally legitimate. Folio is trying to figure out how we can address those concerns and smooth things over by fixing any problems that appear to be glaring issues,” Horrell said.
Though there have been some points of contention within the Studio Art major population, art students of all variations continue to submit their work to Folio, which has been reassuring for the publication.
“We have a significant amount of support from students as well, and we really appreciate that, but we obviously don’t want to be stepping on any toes. A positive thing that I see is that even students who have voiced concerns are still submitting their art, and several of them were accepted into the journal that was published this year. … We’re just trying to find a happy medium for everyone,” Horrell said.
According to Horrell, the most frequently discussed concern is the “academic merit” of the pieces published in the magazine. Admittedly, she said, Folio draws from many unconventional artists and mediums.
“The concern is that Folio is not necessarily the best representation of the academic merit of art on this campus, and it’s true that we definitely have art from students who have never taken an art course at Knox or have never received any formal art training. Yet they submit something that we think is interesting and that people would enjoy looking at it,” Horrell said.
During the previously discussed faculty meeting Holmes elaborated on some of the concerns held by the art department, “Past editions of Folio have provided evidence that its staff is not really aware of models and standards set forth by professional arts journals … As a result, Folio is not an attractive venue for many of Knox’s most gifted art students and alumni.”
Holmes could not be contacted to comment for this article before it went to press.
Sophomore Art Major Honor Beeler considers the variety of art displayed in Folio to be one of the magazine’s most attractive qualities.
“One of the main reasons Folio is great is because it draws from every major. I think that’s unique, that Folio puts the work of trained studio art majors next to lighting designs and pieces of work from people with a number of different majors. Everyone has a different conception of art, some people like photography and some people like paintings,” Beeler said.
Horrell said that the publication schedule for Folio next year would remain very similar to this year’s schedule. However, the funding of the magazine is very much contingent on the results of the upcoming May faculty committee.
“We did apply for a club budget, but it’s kind of up in the air right now because we’re hoping we’ll be approved in May at the faculty meeting, and then from there we will probably get funding through BIP from the Student Activities Fee,” Horrell said. “But as of right now it’s kind of up in the air and really depends on when and if we get approval by the faculty. We’ll know by next year what we’re facing, we’re not too concerned about it because we’ve received a lot of support so if we needed to run on donations or apply for another club budget I think we could do it, but we’re still intending to achieve publication status.”