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VAS art night draws crowd

By Fernanda Chagas
On November 19, 2013

In the words of the Visual Arts Society president and junior art history major Dillon Raborn, "Art Night is a big celebration of the arts around here."

On Nov. 13 in Clark Hall, students, faculty and members of the community were able to enjoy a series of activities sponsored by the VAS.

Faculty advisor of VAS, Michael Aldana, said, "it's been a thing we've been doing for a while, open up as a sort of community event for artists and to Southeastern students in general to come and experience the art, make games and enjoy a social atmosphere."

The celebration started at 5:30 p.m. with the tag-team painting, which according to Raborn "was a big success. We split them [participants] in teams, and each team had a time limit to complete a very quick painting of a masterpiece, that is called a master copy."

Participants were asked to copy paintings from famous artists such as Rothko, Frida Kahlo, Jenny Saville and Francisco De Goya in a 5 to 15 minute time frame. Olivia Moreno, sophomore fine arts major, said it was a really good exercise for her as an artist.

"I loved [the tag-team painting], it was really funny even if we didn't do well, it was nice to see what we came out with," said Moreno. "I felt like it forced me to leave my comfort zone, but in a good way."

While a group was having fun and rushing to do their best with the time they had, the print club Palmetto Press was printing t-shirts on the room next door. Attendees could either bring their own or buy some of their designs at the door. After deciding on the winners for the tag-team painting, Raborn directed people to the drawing studio, where the "Pollockoff" took place.

"It has been done in the past. They're usually held outside, but we couldn't do it outside because of the cold weather," said Raborn.

This time the participants had to wear red improvised goggles to distort their vision, making it harder and funnier for them to paint. A blank canvas on the floor, open buckets of paint and a diverse music soundtrack were all the teams needed to create a Jackson Pollock inspired painting.

Continuing with the night's schedule the ceramics club, Naked Gorilla, made pottery outside the building and students were also able to participate in a photo shoot at the photography lab. The VAS offers multiple shows a year, at the Hyde Gallery students got the opportunity to showcase their work with the art exhibit entitled "Hurricanes."

"A career in art is not something that begins when you graduate. It begins now, and a lot of them [students] don't know that when they come in," said Raborn regarding one of the objectives of VAS.

For Aldana the main idea behind the project is to attract anyone who has an interest in art.

"For some people, maybe they're from other departments on campus, and they hear about it and then come on over. They might enjoy themselves and take an art class," said Aldana. "When I used to go to school here I was a communication major. I took one art class after coming to a social event and then changed my major to art. So it's a good way to show what we do here in this fun, social atmosphere."

The VAS tries to cater to the freshman and the sophomore, guiding them through their college path. Moreno, who is also a VAS member, said they are "trying to get a lot more people to join, maybe make the event bigger, a little bit fancier, have more things available to more people and have more spectators."

Raborn said they "had issues this semester, because of lack of student involvement." Art Night sort of gave me hope that somebody out there actually cares."

"A lot of people showed up, everyone seems to be enjoying themselves and having fun. I'd like to see more people from other departments show up in the future. We're open to any major, not just art," said Aldana.

Ending on a positive note, Raborn said, "We're having more advertising and a stronger officer core than any other semester, so tonight is a reflection of that."

For next semester the club has many ideas to keep the project growing, but for now the only official event planned is the screening of a paper mache and puppet version of the motion picture "Dante's Inferno" (2007). Their last event of the year will be held at the Art Gallery on Dec. 4, where they will be screening "Moonrise Kingdom" (2012), a motion picture about apair of young lovers who flee their New England town causing a local search party to fan out and find them.

For more information on the VAS access their Facebook page at "sluvas."

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