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Laughter, sentiment after AMU poster sale

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Photo by Helen Dudley

During the first month of college, there’s one moment in which a student feels his or her dorm room is finally set. All boxes are unpacked, lights and nostalgic photographs unstrung, small “just-in-case” trinkets lovingly included by mothers either resting on a shelf or still at the bottom of a grocery bag. Everything is perfect — until a final glance around leads to the realization that there is a gaping, empty wall staring out into the room from above the futon or beside the bed.

Luckily, however, an empty wall at Marquette can be filled in no time, all thanks to the Alumni Memorial Union’s annual poster sale. There, students, faculty and staff alike can find hundreds of prints to pick and choose from in order to meet whatever poster needs they may have.

The customers are just about as diverse as the sale’s selection, with sale reviews and aesthetic tastes varying greatly.

Some go to the poster sale in hopes of finding a good laugh. One such customer was Nick Adams, a sophomore in the College of Business Administration, who saw a chuckle-worthy Chance the Rapper poster that he had to have.

“I saw (the poster), and (Chance’s) facial expression was just the best,” Adams said of the impulse buy for which he later realized he had no room.

But that didn’t stop Adams. Instead the determined fan stuck the poster on the ceiling of his dorm above a frequently used futon.

“Every time I sit here, I forget it’s there, but then I look up and it makes my day,” Adams said.

Besides a good laugh, some go to the poster sale and come away with something that reminds them of someone or something else – just as Barbara Sammut, a freshman in the College of Engineering, did when she snagged a dramatic shot from the iconic film “Pulp Fiction.”

“I wasn’t actually planning on buying a poster,” Sammut said, “But then I saw (this) and it reminded me of my cousins who have the same one in their dorm.”

Sammut was sure to check with her roommate before tacking it up above her half-lofted bed.

“I felt a little bad because I thought my roommate might be intimidated by it, but she thought it was funny so we put it up,” Sammut said. And even better yet, the poster fit perfectly into the theme of Sammut’s dorm room.

“I’d gotten some free black and white posters when volunteering at Urban Connection this year,” Sammut said. “So it was awesome that (the “Pulp Fiction” poster) went so well with them.”

While Sammut just happened to get lucky with her color-coordination, many customers at the poster sale went in with the particular purpose of finding something to fit in with their dorm theme.

Shannon Byrne, a freshman in the College of Health Sciences, had a love of elephants at the top of her checklist.

“I was looking at other elephant posters around the sale,” Byrne said. “But then I saw this (poster) and it was the cutest.”

Byrne said that she was pleased with the variety the sale provided her to pick from, as she wasn’t exactly sure what size or style she wanted. It was only when she saw the black and white baby elephant calf that she knew it was the one.

She said she made the purchase and walked it back to hang it snugly on the walls of her bohemian-accented dorm room with a smile on her face.

Finding that last piece of the dorm room puzzle draws many to the poster sale. Yet, creating a dorm room collage excites and intrigues other students.

Max Neblina, a sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences, chose his posters for their inspiration and congruence to his goals as a human being.

Neblina bought a shot of Bob Marley because he said he loves the icon’s music and demeanor of peace. He also chose a print of Tupac featuring one of the artist’s quotes for the image’s direct implications on life today.

“I think (Tupac’s) quote really matters right now in our country,” Neblina said, “A lot of people are doing what they think is right, what they think is best, but they don’t realize what they think is best could be hurting other people.”

When one reads the quote itself, the parallels to today’s world are indeed apparent. It’s powerful to realize how just a poster, just a quote, is able to shape the climate and awareness of people all over the world. Art has the power to speak across languages, and both of Neblina’s buys can surely attest to that.

Posters can be more than posters, or they can just be something to catch an eye and make one smile on the way out in the morning.

Aesthetic, humor, nostalgia, meaning – whatever the implication, one is bound to find it in the angles, lines, pictures and prints of the AMU’s poster sale.

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About the Writer
Noelle Douglass, Arts & Entertainment Reporter

Noelle is an arts & entertainment reporter for the Wire. She is a freshman from Bloomington, Illinois and plans to major in communication studies and...

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