Arts & Culture / Mosaic / April 17, 2013

61401 reading and art show unites Knox and Galesburg

Freshman Nikki Acton performs her work at the 61041 Reading and Art Show held in The Beanhive on Fri. April 12 (Jason Deschamps/TKS).

Freshman Nikki Acton performs her work at the 61041 Reading and Art Show held in The Beanhive on Fri. April 12 (Jason Deschamps/TKS).

This Friday, the 61401 put on the latest in its series of readings and art showings at the Beanhive.

Started by Dakota Scott ‘12 as a post-baccalaureate project, The 61401 aims to bring Knox closer to the Galesburg community through art.

Scott, the creator of the project and chief organizer, recently departed for Austin, leaving the project to freshman Andrew Marr, sophomores Sam Scheurell, Natalie Baldino, Kelly Clare and  junior Tom Courtright. Friday’s show was the first put on exclusively by the new set of students running the project.

“I’d say the easiest thing is getting readers, and the hardest thing is promoting it and putting it all together,” Baldino said. “We’re most lacking in promotion, but we actually have a large amount of people who want to read. One of our biggest problems is getting art, but generally Knox is very responsive to us and we’ve had a few Galesburg residents who are interested in helping us.”

One of the most attractive facets of the 61401 project is bringing the art community at Knox closer to Galesburg.

Galesburg resident Kyle Mustang is one of the members of the community who performed at Friday’s show.

“Growing up, I always noticed the division between townie and college, and it never made sense to me. Even when I went to college elsewhere at University of Iowa, I didn’t understand the divide,” Mustang said. “In college towns, they’re at odds with each other. But in the last 12 years since I graduated from high school, they’re more copacetic than they used to be. I know members of the community who over the last decade have tried to bring them together. But I think we need to do something with the arts.”

With a new group of students ensuring the longevity of the project, the 61401 seeks to expand to new mediums in order to attract more local Galesburg artists to the project.

“We’re trying to start a music show, trying to get some performance art,” Baldino said. “The hardest part is getting Knox and Galesburg back together because there’s been such a divide for such a long time.”

Members of both communities echoed this interest in seeing the two parts of the town come together.

“I like the idea that we see people who don’t go to Knox at these kinds of readings, which I think is really important if you want to be outside of Knox, which is a good thing to do,” freshman Carolyn Dussault, a reader at a previous 61401 event, said.

“I think it’s really great,” freshman reader Niki Acton said. “It’s really laid back, and I think that puts more focus on the work, and not the performance. The people who come are all really great, and nobody is forced to be here. It creates a really great environment.”

Emily Madden

Tags:  61401 Andrew Marr art show carolyn dussault Dakota Scott Galesburg Kelly Clare Natalie Baldino Niki Acton reading Sam Scheurell The 61401 Tom Courtright

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