X marks the spot: BGSU art department sponsors end-of-semester carnivaleWritten by Matt Liasse | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Bowling Green State University Associate Professor Lori Young is impressed with the planning her students are doing for the upcoming ArtsX exhibition.
“I mean it’s just amazing,” she said when seeing prototype masks they made for the first time. “What did she just spray them on?”
“She painted them and poured glitter,” her team of five students said.
“I love it. I’m going to be sparkling all day,” Young said, with glitter left all over her hands.
The carnivale masks they made will be examples for a contest during the art show. Attendees will be able to paint their own creations for a prize.
“It’s going to be a great way to get kids involved,” senior Jacob Parr said. “The past years there wasn’t really a lot for kids’ involvement.”
ArtsX, short for Arts Extravaganza, is sponsored by the Bowling Green State University art department. It was started with the idea of showcasing each university “creative program” together.
“We look at it as an open house,” said Professor of Art Dennis Wojkiewicz. “We’re inviting people from the outside in. Not only the University community … it’s for the broader community.”
ArtsX is a collaborative effort planned by students. It brings together aspects of art, history, music, theater, film, creative writing, dancing, architecture and, new this year, interior design.
“This year will be kind of interesting because it is usually more just the School of Art,” senior Andrea DePaoli said. “But because there’s so many more aspects coming into it, it’s nice to get more of the campus involvement.”
The event has grown since its first show in 2003 when it just took place on the first floor of the Fine Arts Building. For the first time the Wolfe Center will be involved.
“Over the years the thing has evolved,” Wojkiewicz said. “As it’s grown, we’ve encompassed more and more programs on campus.”
The hallways will be cramped with art pieces, made by students, for sale.
“So many students want a creative outlet,” Young said. “And this is the place to do it.”
There will also be jugglers, a snake charmer and caricature artists for entertainment, all in line with the carnivale theme.
“We were trying to brainstorm what the role of Arts Extravaganza is,” DePaoli said. “We kind of started thinking, ‘well, it’s a festival of sorts.’ We took it to this Carnivale theme, thinking it had more of an artistic twist to it … We thought about the Carnivale in Venice which is where the mask-making comes in.”
This is the first year the theme is being taken past the advertising.
“We branded it this year,” Parr said. “This is the first year we’re really pushing the theme to a specific kind of point.”
The students are planning the event for their class.
“This is a practicum class,” Young said. “What this class means is we take on projects and work with the community to have the students produce professional work for their portfolio.”
Another class receiving credit for their involvement is the new “Media Synthesis” course.
“We will be having an exhibition of video art installations that will be in the welcoming gallery,” Chair of the Digital Arts Department Heather Elliott-Famularo said. The class is a collaboration of her and Professor in Film Production Thomas Castillo. They never had the gallery space before to do something like this in the past.
“It’s been interesting because digital art students and film students use a lot of the same tools [cameras, lighting, tripods, etc.]” she said. “[But] we often have a very different end result.”
Young said the students do almost all of the work.
“All I do is help direct them,” Young said. “I do not dictate other than a few typo corrections or minor art direction. This is really their creation; beginning to end.”
Wojkiewicz said it’s important the students have control.
“It’s not about the faculty,” he said. “It’s about the students and what the students do here.”
Wojkiewicz and Young hope students of all majors join the fun.
“There’s no intimidation; it’s like a party,” Wojkiewicz said. “It’s a festive atmosphere. We want people who come to enjoy themselves so that they might feel inclined to come over again. We hope to convert some people as well.”
The event is free, but art will be for sale. A fraction of the cost will go toward field trips for each department.
“It gives the university a sense of what we do,” senior Nichole Heisler said. “We’re not just art nerds.”
ArtsX is Nov. 30 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., at BGSU’s Fine Arts Center.
“If people want to get great deals for Christmas, and creative work, this is the deal,” Young said.
“I won’t lie, I get a lot of Christmas presents here,” she said.