The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Creative types find home in Art Club

Marquette has a pretty well-deserved reputation as a school that doesn’t have a strong art community.

So the fact that they’ve had an established Art Club for almost a decade might come as somewhat of a welcome surprise.

Art Club was started at Marquette in 2001 by a pair of twin sisters, according to Lynne Shumow, curator of education at the Haggerty Museum of Art and adviser for the Art Club. Because there is not an art department at the university, the sisters felt it was important to provide students who have a passion for the arts with a creative outlet.

“It gives students interested in the arts an opportunity to partake in art events and meet other people with similar interests,” Shumow said.

Since then, the club has vastly expanded. It plans various outings and events throughout the year, giving members a taste of the arts culture both at Marquette and in Milwaukee. To explore the arts off-campus, the students take trips to different galleries within the city, including visits to the Milwaukee Art Museum.

Since the club works so closely with the Haggerty, it has the opportunity to plan interesting on-campus events as well, like a behind-the-scenes tour of the museum in which they explored the museum’s vaults and permanent collection. The club also hosts drawing workshops throughout the year, with different presentations by members of the Haggerty staff.

In addition to these activities, Shumow said Art Club has always put on student fine arts nights where students could display their artwork gallery-style in the Haggerty. Last spring, the club decided to add in a performance art element to the event.

Erin Shawgo, a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences and co-president of Art Club, said the performance art aspect ended up being more popular for students than putting up their artwork.

“We thought since it was so successful for student fine arts night that we should try to repeat the performing arts aspect as a way for students to express themselves,” Shawgo said.

So this semester, Art Club decided to temporarily set aside the exhibition aspect of the event in order to focus more on the performing arts. One such event will occur tonight, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., at the Haggerty.

Tonight’s event will feature performances by a cappella group Gold ‘N Blues, Brian Harper on guitar and vocals, Korean martial arts group Kuk Sool Won, Kelly Costello on synthesizer and vocals, and Sullivan Oakley and Austin Rodenbiker performing spoken word.

Oakley, a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences said she is a little nervous about performing, but is excited that spoken word is included in the lineup for the night.

“The co-presidents of our club have become increasingly interested in spoken word and they knew I was really passionate about it,” Oakley said. “I just asked Austin to come along and that’s how it was born.”

Shawgo said she and co-president Jenny Mays wanted to add spoken word performances to the mix because it can be an underrated form of performance art.

“I want there to be an appreciation for it because it is a lot harder than people think it is,” Shawgo said.

Art Club is also promoting Marquette’s MARDI GRAS organization at the event. Shawgo said both spoken word and performance art are a significant part of people’s lives in New Orleans, and the overlap makes this a great way to showcase the organization.

“It is such a part of New Orleans culture, and I think that is something that Milwaukee kind of lacks,” Shawgo said.

Closing out the event is Kuk Sool Won, another unique performance. While it is technically a Korean martial arts form, Shawgo said it is much more graceful than martial arts usually appear.

“It is almost like a choreographed dance,” Shawgo said.

This student performance night promises to be an enjoyable evening of music, dance and poetry that will showcase the talent of  Marquette students.

“People at Marquette don’t really have an outlet to express themselves through performance art unless they are in the theater department or something,” Shawgo said. “If we can open that up more, I think that would be really cool.”

The event tonight at the Haggerty is free and open to the public, and students may come and go as they please. New Art Club T-shirts will be available for $10, and free refreshments and snacks will be provided.

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