Art Club explores Indy art scene, focuses on partnerships

By Olivia Ober

This year, Art Club is under new leadership, and its members are seeking to connect the group to both the campus and the Indy area.

Senior Tony Quintana, Art Club president, is studying art history with a minor in history. Last year, Art Club members took binders from the former executive officers, and he decided he would want to be president.

“I really wanted to make something of Art Club,” he said. “I had a great internship, I had some ideas in my head from the past president, and I thought, let’s take the binder and roll with it.”

Art club also has a new adviser in Wendy Shapiro, assistant professor of art and journalism. Shapiro has a background in graphic design and is also adviser to Franklin’s AIGA: Professional Association for Graphic Design chapter, the campus newspaper and upcoming campus magazine, along with teaching classes and advising students.

“When the art club approached me here, I thought it was a good opportunity,” she said. “I feel that we’re starting to gain a rhythm, and we’re figuring out several things for next semester.”

Shapiro also said her background in design allows her to help students connect to another side of art.

“It’s interesting because when I read the Art Club mission statement, there was not one word in there about design,” Shapiro said. “And I feel art and design are interchangeable. It’s not that art is black and graphic design is white; there’s a grey area, and they overlap.”

One of Art Club’s first events this year was a free button-making event at the 66 Water St. Arts Café. The students borrowed Shapiro’s button making machine and hosted the event as a kick-off during homecoming week. They had 200 buttons, and there were no buttons left by the end of the night.

“It was a great turnout, and they asked for it to come back,” said senior Katie Adams, one of the Art Club’s vice presidents. “I liked it because there were a lot of people who came to the Arts Café, which is a good thing for Franklin College because a lot of people don’t go there, still.”

The club is also leaving campus and exploring downtown Indianapolis art galleries and events for free during First Friday, an event that occurs the first Friday of each month downtown in art communities. The group carpools and typically eats dinner together in Indy.

Quintana said one thing he is excited for is visiting the Stutz gallery during First Fridays. He worked at the Stutz gallery last January as an intern. The gallery is a former car factory that was converted to a working art space, studio and gallery, representing about 80 artists. The second floor showcases the historical cars.

“I’m very close to the Stutz,” Qunitana said. “I worked there a whole winter term so I feel like it’s my home base, but we visited a gallery a couple of miles down from the Stutz, and having all the students stand there in a circle and say what they saw… those are always cherished memories.”

Art Club’s third first Friday visit is Nov. 1. They are inviting students from other organizations to join them in going downtown for the event.

Art Club would like to emphasize partnerships with other campus organizations this year to make their club better known. Earlier in the fall, they collaborated with FC Interfaith, and they are looking into a future project with the campus’ multicultural organizations.

“When you collaborate, you get a better commitment, better cooperation among people you don’t know. Even though it’s a small campus, it’s good to know people,” Adams said. “We want to be involved with everyone else and also learn from them and what they do with their groups.”

Shapiro said her hope is that Art Club students consider exploring new forms of art, bringing in speakers and add more members to their group

“I want them to really expand the possibilities of what they can do,” she said.

Art Club meets at 5 p.m. every third Wednesday at the Water St. Café. Any students interesting in being involved can contact Quintana or Shapiro.

Editor’s note: Wendy Shapiro is an adviser for The Franklin.

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About Ashley Shuler 1253 Articles
Ashley Shuler is the executive editor of The Franklin. She has held various multimedia journalism and public relations internships, including positions at Indianapolis Monthly, The Children's Museum of Indianapolis and Dittoe Public Relations. When she isn't staying up late to edit stories, Ashley spends her time boutique shopping and drinking as much vanilla Coke as possible. This is Ashley's third year in a leadership role and her fourth year on The Franklin staff. She previously held positions as web editor and news editor.

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