Sophomore Luba Liubvina remembers being involved with art since she was as young as 5 years old. What was then just a hobby has now become a passion and the subject of her educational pursuits. Recently taking the role of the Co-President of Art Club, Liubvina hopes to gather like-minded individuals in one shared space.
Having been a part of Art Club last year, Liubvina felt disappointed with the lack of participation and was determined to make a change. Now she is making it a goal to spread the word of Art Club to a variety of art students. More specifically, Liubvina hopes that Art Club will serve as a guide to a population of students who are interested in art but are not sure how to get involved.
“Some students come here and they don’t really know what is available. So you kind of have to introduce them to their department,” she said.
She hopes to use the club to inform newer art students about the opportunities and prospects of pursuing an education in art. Introducing students to art faculty, informing them about scholarships and fellowships and teaching them about selling their art are just a few of the things Liubvina hopes to pass down to younger students.
Like Liubvina, sophomore Sachika Goel feels that Art Club has been underpublicized in the previous year. She feels that the enthusiasm of the freshmen as well as the amount of events that appeal to the common interest have increased the club’s popularity.
While Goel hopes to increase participation, she does not feel that the events need to be highly attended. To Goel, having a small group of students who are passionate and enthusiastic about art is preferable to having a larger group who may not have as much interest. She also hopes to appeal to students who may not have time to integrate art into their academic lives.
“I feel like the goal of Art Club is to get art on campus, educate people who can’t take art classes,” Goel said. “There’s so many people who want to who just don’t have time. So, with these small events, they can just come, they paint, they go, they use it as therapy at times.”
While freshman Lily Lauver initially joined Art Club due to peer influence, her goals of wanting to expand art on campus fall in alignment with the club’s. Lauver has tentative plans to minor in studio art and serves as the Secretary of Art Club. She feels that, over the course of the past year, art has appealed to “non-artists” as a form of stress reduction. She feels that the emerging trends of doodling and adult coloring books have allowed the non-artsy access to the same therapeutic benefits that artists get from their work.
“It’s just been a good way for people to engage with it more personally,” Lauver said. “So I think art for people who aren’t artists is mostly an indulgence.”
For sophomore Abbey Robillard, growing up with a mother who is professional artist meant that she has always been encouraged to do art, despite being interested in pursuing the sciences. She feels that Art Club gives her the opportunity to take a step back from her lab equipment and hopes that it can offer the same break for other students.
“I want to become more involved in art, since I’ve been really focusing on sciences because I’m going to major in biology,” Robillard said. “So it’s kind of nice to just go to art and be able to relax instead of thinking about ‘what kind of cleavage does this rock have?’”
Though Art Club provides no break for Goel’s academic interests, she doesn’t mind. She feels no difference between creating art for academia and her personal portfolio. She feels that creating art helps her focus and concentrate.
“For me, my brain is just scattered so art kind of helps me, even if my thoughts are going everywhere, art kind of helps me put them back. So I don’t really feel pressured to do anything academically. It’s just there and I love it,” Goel said.
Goel feels that art is an important way of understanding and expressing herself. She believes that art reaches out to people in a way that words cannot. She describes being overcome with emotion while reading poems and short stories in her course on African- American women writers.
“That is what art is, it hits you in the face. It’s there, and sometimes it’s so interactive that you’re moved to tears, like with music and everything. I feel like that’s the political statement that art makes. It’s there. It’s not doing anything. It’s not violent, but it’s hitting you more than spoken words.”
Art Club meets every Thursday at 4 p.m. on the second floor of the Whitcomb Art Center, in an open space above the main entrance of the building. In the future, the club plans to host discussion with other clubs and faculty members, hold workshops and lessons and potentially travel to New York to visit the Museum of Modern Art.