By Caroline Stanton
(Photo provided by Caroline Stanton)
Cedarville University has many student-led clubs, or orgs, on campus to help students better connect with each other and explore a variety of different topics and interests. One of these orgs is little known to the general student body, but has much to offer students interested in art and connects them with a diverse group of people. It’s simply called The Studio and serves to help promote art on campus by offering artistic experiences to any student who might want to join.
The beauty of “The Studio” is that it gives students who want a creative outlet a space to do so, without committing themselves to an art major or enrolling themselves in Studio Art classes. The art department at Cedarville University utilizes two buildings located just off campus, Alford Hall and Carnegie Center for the Visual Arts. These buildings hold classes and house an extensive collection of materials and supplies for virtually every kind of studio art medium.
Alford and Carnegie are usually off-limits to the average student, requiring art students to scan their IDs at the door to get in. But, through The Studio, all students can have access to Alford, which is where the org meets. They are able to use all the equipment and art supplies, allowing their imaginations to run wild and create whatever it is that they can think of.
The biggest event of the year that The Studio holds is Clay Night, in which students are able to come together and create art with clay. Most of the attendees of this night are not art majors. They are just students with a passion for art and are interested in learning how to perfect their skills, or are looking to unwind after a long week of classes by making art with friends. Clay Night is capped at 20 people, as Alford only has 20 clay wheels to use, and it is a first-come, first-serve sign-up. The student limit also allows the gatherings to be more intimate and relaxing, as students are able to talk and bond easier, as well as feel more comfortable making art in the space. The Studio primarily advertises this event through its Instagram page, as well as word of mouth.
“When people come to the clay nights, it’s really cool since people can come into our spaces and we can show them what we experience every day,” said one of The Studio’s founders and leaders, junior Studio Art major Lyndsey Stratton.
Stratton said that she is also able to grow closer to other studio art majors because of their shared experience of running and hosting the org events. It also allows them to share their passion with their friends who might not be art majors or are uncertain about all the amazing avenues that art offers.
Art majors also benefit from The Studio because it improves their personal art abilities, as they learn how to explain concepts and techniques in ways that their non-artistic peers can understand and apply. They are able to remind themselves of the basic step-by-step process that good art demands, a process that can sometimes be overlooked or taken for granted in upper-level art courses. Junior Studio Art major Andrea Drews agrees with this.
“Teaching art is very helpful for all art majors, but especially for Studio Art majors,” Drews said. “It helps us understand the processes behind what we do and how to explain it to someone it might not come as naturally to.”
The Studio is an org that every Cedarville student should consider being a part of, both for its social and creative benefits. Moving forward, The Studio hopes to expand and diversify its events and is possibly going to be hosting printmaking classes or sketch nights in the upcoming semesters.
Caroline Stanton is a sophomore AYA English major. In her free time, she likes to read, hang out with friends, and daydream about living in Europe.