VAS celebrates campus artists

On Thursday, Nov. 10, the Visual Art Society (VAS) put on their much-anticipated Art Night. Every semester, the various concentrations of the art department band together to create a schedule of fun filled activities for students and community members to join in.

“Art Night is important because it raises awareness about our community, not only in Hammond, but in south Louisiana,” said Blake Kelley, graphic design senior. “It gives a chance for the public to come out and see what the art students at Southeastern are doing and the kind of art that we are turning out.”

The evening started off at 6 p.m. with a “Pollock Off” in the art department courtyard. Inspired by modern artist Jackson Pollock, the contest required participants to put on vision impairing goggles and attempt to artfully splatter paint onto a poster. Winners of the rounds were chosen based on color choices and overall composition.

The chilly night air soon chased participants and onlookers alike into the art studios, in which other activities were taking place. Room 308 of Clark Hall houses the printmaking lab, where the Palmetto Press was busy screen printing T-shirts. The Palmetto Press, the student printmaking organization, joined with VAS to give attendees the opportunity to learn a little about the screen printing process.

Aside from the learning experience, people were also able to purchase a customizable printed shirt, making it a popular activity.

“There are exciting things going on in the print shop, printmaking in particular,” said Ernest Milsted, assistant printmaking professor. “The Palmetto Press does a lot of things, one of them being this Art Night where we’re printing T-shirts to raise money. The students take a yearly trip to the Southern Graphics Conference, which is a professional printmaking organization, and this money is being raised to fund that trip.”

A giant canvas was set up in the painting lab, also in Clark Hall, for students to join in and paint a colorful mural of whatever they chose. The ceramics lab in East Strawberry Stadium gave participants the opportunity to paint their own pottery and a stop motion movie was made in the digital art lab. In the photography lab, a camera and backdrop were set up for students to dress in costumes and pose for silly portraits.

Another part of Art Night was a food contest, with the winner receiving a free portfolio. Amber Damare, a printmaking junior, won this contest with her purple monster cupcakes.

“Art Night is mostly to raise awareness of VAS, to get people to know about it,” said Leicester Mitchell, a graphic design and photography major and the president of VAS. “It’s not really to raise money for us; it’s a way to attract new members and to give back to the community.”