Group promotes workshops and showcases for student art
A newly founded art club is encouraging non-art majors to show off their creativity, receive feedback and practice their skills in a group setting.
After realizing that the campus was lacking an extracurricular outlet for students to improve their art skills and showcase their work, Khadijah Mazhar, president of Art UTD, decided to found the organization this semester. Members had their first meeting on Feb. 26.
The officers envisioned Art UTD during the beginning of the fall semester when they came together wanting to create a space for students who have a passion for the visual arts.
“It is a way to show people who like art but can’t take an art class that they can do something they enjoy without the stress of taking a class,” said Aakansha Jain, a biology sophomore and treasurer.
Mazhar said the hardest part of officially creating the club was finding a sponsor. After a full semester of searching for an ATEC professor to take the role, the organization had little luck. Eventually, Honors Program Specialist Sheila Kelly signed on to be the sponsor of the group. Kelly said she believes Art UTD is a great outlet for other students outside ATEC majors who enjoy art.
“It’s something the university needed because everyone is math, science and engineering, so it’s great to have an art thing,” Kelly said.
The organization meets twice a month. Finance sophomore and event coordinator Angela Chang said that at meetings members give insightful advice to help students strengthen their techniques and artistic abilities.
“Showcase (meetings) allow other viewers to view your artworks and critique them. This is the key significance of the club,” Chang said.
Vice president and sophomore Natalie Barletta said she has always had a passion for the arts but really started to focus on photography in middle school. Along with being a creative outlet, the club allows her to reminisce and think about her photography, Barletta said.
“The process of making art is also really satisfying,” she said. “It’s like you get lost in the process and in a different world until you step back and look at your progress or results.”
Officers are planning workshops to help members by creating tutorials on using different types of mediums, revealing techniques and personal tricks. Chang also hopes to plan day trips to art museums in Dallas and host anime movie nights for members. With future activities in the works, the group’s main mission is showcasing and critiquing members, Chang said.
“The club enables every member to evaluate others works and create an environment for interesting discussion,” she said.