University Art Gallery hosts “First Wednesday” event

Karla Foster, Courier Staff

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They always say that art is one of the best ways one can express themselves, now people can do that every first Wednesday with First Wednesday! The smooth yet energetic atmosphere provides the best inspiration for young minds to enter the world of art. Susan Czechowski first started the program in October of 2015.

“We really had the idea of really reaching out to both the community and campus wise to let people know what we do in the art department and to invite them in to get a closer look and to actually make some art themselves,” Czechowski said.

The vibe of First Wednesday is also very joyful. When you enter you see the faces of pure joy not just from the members of the community but also the Western students who come from different majors from law enforcement to chemistry. You also don’t have to worry about getting dinner once you get home because refreshments are usually served in front of Garwood, so people can eat while creating art however, a certain artist suggests that it is not a good idea. The program also celebrated Black History Month with a fantastic video by Bruce Walters and some of his wonderful students from his digital arts class.

“I wanted people to walk by and be captured by it and maybe be drawn into it and see things that they probably never seen before,” Walters said.

Following the First Wednesday theme, the video showed the the beauty of the Harlem Renaissance and was dubbed over with music from the famous singer Cab Calloway.

The Harlem Renaissance featured African-American individuals who practiced the art of painting and sculpture. Poetry and music were also included in the video as well.

For the arts community to have literature and music featured may seem a little odd but when you think about it, they both count as art so it’s perfectly fine to represent them in the video. “I’ve never seen the arts in isolation,” Walters said.

Some artists that were featured included Aaron Douglas, Augusta Savage, Jacob Lawrence and Archibald Motley. It was a great eye opener and people could really learn something from the short video that he and his students have put together.

Other celebrations included a DJ in the Heating Plant Annex, but just to play music and not have a party. It might have been a bad idea to party in that building anyway.

First Wednesday has changed the way we see art. There even has been some students who have changed their major after experiencing First Wednesday, and the children finish their homework in the nick of time just to come over to Garwood Hall, just to paint  that octopus or draw that deer from reference. That’s just how powerful art can be. Sadly, some school systems have to close down their art departments due to the lowering prices. Hopefully First Wednesday can help bring the joy of art back into schools or be the filler that the community needs when it comes to the art world.

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