Supervised by Professor Nathan Wyman and legitimized by Becca Saffier last year, William Jewell College’s Art Club is a no judgment zone. The Hilltop Monitor sat down with one of the founders of the club, Senior Heather Jackson, at one of its open studios to chat about its mission and the reason behind its foundation.
“I was disappointed when I first came to Jewell my freshman year that there wasn’t an art club because I love art so much,” said Jackson. “I am going to be a studio art minor, and having another outlet for people to express themselves in this creative way is really helpful.”
Jackson was also struck to stick with this idea when Jewell’s accreditation was on probation and the tough decision was made to cut the art program.
“Because of the accreditation issues and how the art department was cut, we just don’t have any visual arts available on campus other than the digital media classes and Professor Wyman’s stage design classes,” Jackson said. “There are all these important aspects of art and how it can engage with the community that we are unfortunately lacking at Jewell, and my hope is that the At Club can bolster that.”
Jackson said the club’s mission is to welcome artists of all kinds to come and learn or just hangout and be creative.
“You don’t have to have any kind of experience level with art, you can have never even picked up a pencil or a paintbrush before and you can just come here and chill and work on whatever you want,” Jackson said.
Jackson also talked about the educating environment of having different levels of artists in the club.
“Sometimes people are here who know a lot more about the medium you may be working with, so you can ask them for advice or help or other constructive criticism from your peers,” Jackson said. “We want to foster a really encouraging environment for the arts, and I think we’ve done pretty well so far.”
Art Club also has access to other resources on campus.
“We also support the artists who are exhibited in the Stocksdale Gallery only a couple floors above where we work, and I’m hoping in the future that the art club can work with the wider Kansas City community,” Jackson said. “I think the idea of uniting student expression and interest with community interest and expression is so important.”
Jackson also made it clear that anyone is welcome at Art Club
“Anyone is welcome to come, they don’t have to have taken any art classes or be a digital media major. There are no requirements or prerequisites, as long as you respect the space and the people here you are absolutely welcome to stay and come back.”
There are some events that you will see next semester where the Art Club will be pairing with QUILTBAG and Students for Mental Health on campus to have some time to unwind before finals with playdoh, finger painting and potentially even an Art Club exhibit in the Stocksdale Gallery where anyone who wants to submit their art can do so.
Art Club usually meets Wednesdays at 4:30, but the space is open for student use almost anytime. So if you’re feeling creative, or just want a relaxed environment to chill out next semester, make sure to stop by G22 in Brown Hall and check it out.