The Commons transformed into an art gallery last week, as Commonvision brought art to students with Art Week, a chance for the campus community to get creative.
Art Week in its current form began almost ten years ago, though Emma Hagen, Coordinator for Commonvision and Art Week, says it has existed in some form for as long as Commonvision has been at UMBC. Art Week is open to students from all departments, and features events like the Art Week Gallery, artist lecturers and a painting night inspired by Bob Ross.
Commonvision collaborates with the department of the Commons and with the office of Student Life for Art Week, but students and offices from all over campus are encouraged to get involved. Many of the events take place on Commons Mainstreet, so students can walk by and make a craft, design a cupcake and take a Polaroid in front of the woodland scene set up, while also perusing their classmates’ artwork in the Commons gallery.
Art Week began as a way for students across campus to express their creativity.
Hagen says, “We knew there was a need for art program in the Commons, and there were gallery spaces,” adding that “[Art Week] fed a need, especially in a school that is seen as STEM-heavy.”
Katie Chrzanowski, the Multimedia Coordinator for Commonvision, expounds upon some of the events this year. “The motion challenge allows [us] to see the hard work and talents, sometimes hidden, of students that we don’t always get to see on a day-to-day basis, and the artist lectures can give lots of great insight [that] students might not get in the classroom,” she explains.
Hagen thinks that Art Week is an important event for UMBC students. “Students want a creative outlet, even if art is just a hobby,” she says. Art Week seeks to provide such an outlet. It would seem the students agree: the gallery and zine received over 100 submissions from 50 or 60 students this year. The week’s collaboration with the Office of Health Promotions features the condom art competition which has 40 students working together on seven teams.
Students like Deborah Cagas, a junior studying global studies, came out to several of the events offered this week. Cagas really enjoyed what the event had to offer, particularly the cupcake decorating station. She found Art Week refreshing. “I like seeing, oh yeah, UMBC isn’t just STEM majors,” she said.
Fellow junior Katherine Magtanong, a health administration and policy program major, agrees, “It’s cool to see how diverse the school is.” She looks forward to attending more Art Week events in the future.
For more information on what Commonvision has in store, check out their website.