Walking through the atrium last week, Concordia students took advantage of a unique opportunity to create their own pieces of art. Bottles of acrylic paint, a cup of dirty water, used paintbrushes, scraps of fabric and an old novel sat on the table before them. The students were given funny-shaped puzzle pieces of wood to decorate however they pleased.
Concordia’s art club plans to put together a collage of these creations as a way of reintroducing themselves on campus.
“We wanted to do something that got the community involved,” said AJ Eckberg, a member of the club’s executive team.
Susan Lee, professor of art history, previously served as the club’s faculty advisor. She said the art club was reintroduced to bring art majors together.
“This idea of restarting the club was to cultivate more community among the art majors,” she said.
Although the club was officially reestablished at the beginning of last year, it has not been very active on campus until now.
As they were brainstorming ways for the art club to jumpstart their involvement, Eckberg said, members decided to sponsor a puzzle, because it represented the Concordia community.
Katelyn Henagin, a senior who spent significant time making puzzle pieces last week, said she knew the art club existed, but she did not consider them a big force on campus. She said this year seems different with new leadership.
Henagin also said working on the collage was a much-needed mental break for her. Monday afternoon, she had been returning from class, where she had turned in a final research paper for her senior capstone course.
When she sat down at the table, the first thing that came to mind was to paint the Slytherin House emblem from “Harry Potter.”
“I was just in the zone,” she said. “I didn’t think about anything else.”
Throughout the week, Henagin returned to paint the remaining houses: Hufflepuff, Gryffindor and Ravenclaw.
Henagin said she enjoyed talking to other students at the table as she worked on her puzzle pieces.
Eckberg said the art club plans to paste all the puzzle pieces together on a sheet of plywood and display it at their table at the Winter Cobber Expo. He added that they will be looking for places on campus to display the collage. The club is currently writing a proposal for a new gallery space in Knutson Campus Center.
Henagin noticed a variety of things displayed on puzzle pieces, from Disney characters to music notes to a Buddha with pages torn from an old book.
“This is going to show the actual community of Concordia when it’s done,” she said.
Eckberg said the club wants to be accessible to Concordia students. The executive team has a vision for the club to be educational for students wanting to explore different art mediums, such as woodcarving or using Photoshop.
“We’d like to be a resource of that sort,” he said.
The art club is planning more events for the spring semester like workshops, an art sale and perhaps creating a snow sculpture, depending on the weather.
Eckberg said he wants to see the club become more prevalent on campus because people do not always use visual art to express themselves.
“(Art is) a great way to convey feelings,” he said. “It’s a way of communicating that I feel gets forgotten.”
Aubrey is a junior from Minneapolis, MN. She is a Multimedia Journalism major and German minor. Some of Aubrey’s favorite activities include writing, reading, coloring in Disney coloring books, and spending time with her family, friends, and her dog. Aside from being a news writer for the Concordian, Aubrey plays violin in the Concordia Orchestra and leads a Bible study with Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ.)