Photo and Story by Alix Le Touzé
Spring quarter has barely started and the Art Club at Whatcom Community College is already looking for new members to join them as they organize an art show called “Spring Gallery”.
“’Spring Gallery’ is my baby,” said Kyle Thompson, the president of the club and the creator of the event. The show will take place in May, in Syre Auditorium as well as other locations around campus.
The show will display a variety of artwork on created by club members as well as local and international artists. Some members of the club will demonstrate how to use spray paint and give people the chance to try it themselves. Thompson will also be painting a mural on his truck.
Thompson said that he tries to host works of art from many different artists, such as the local painter Shawn Pagels. “It’s really exciting to bring some art from outside to the campus,” he said.
Thompson said that this show will be a great opportunity for Whatcom’s artists to draw an audience to their creations. “Members can use [the club] as a platform to get their names outside [of Whatcom],” he said.
The club has connections with people off-campus and can help students gain exposure for their work, Thompson said.
“The club is a resource for members,” he said. “It can provide them with paint, support and materials.”
Thompson said that people should know that the club is a place where everyone is welcome to talk and create freely.
Etaane Neumann, a member of the club, said, “it is a non-judgmental environment to work with new mediums and to open up artistic interest in others around the campus.” Students do not need to have taken any previous art classes to join the club.
Each meeting of the Art Club is divided into two parts. The first part is dedicated to a discussion about upcoming events and different artists that members admire. They also talk about how art can influence their lives, and discuss their own work. Felixiana Santana, an active member of the club, said that it is a place where she can escape from her busy life and relax.
The second part of the meeting is dedicated to a more creative time where they paint, sketch, draw on sidewalks or do crochet around trees, depending on their inspirations. “It’s nice to have that time to sit and focus on my art because at home I’m distracted,” Santana said.
This part of the meeting is called the “Artistic Cultural Enterprise”, which is “the motivated, ambitious side of art club that seeks proactively to raise art awareness by sharing art and art resources on campus through various events and displays,” Thompson said.
Thompson said that since the creation of the club six quarters ago, the members have tried to display art everywhere on campus. During winter quarter, they created table decorations for Martin Luther King Day, as well as postcards, which were displayed in the library.
Thompson said that the club tries to explore and allow people to discover artistic style different styles.
“I hope to inspire others to find their own creative personality and eventually learn and grow from new experiences,” Neumann said. Thompson added that they want to do go deeper than outward appearances and express feelings and emotions through their art. “The beauty is, generally, what we can’t see,” Thompson said.