The Student Led Art Movement (SLAM), back after a hiatus of several years, serves as a place for creative minds to make and appreciate art according to its founder, junior Catie Beach.
The idea to restart the club came when Beach and junior Jordana McCallen, both studio art majors, began talking about potentially reviving the Creative Arts House, a former Small Living Unit, on campus. After finding out about the SLU renovation project, Beach said that idea “went out the window.”
“We have a lot of friends in the SLU community and we found out that none of the SLUs satisfied our needs in the creative department,” Beach said. “We thought that by doing SLAM we could reestablish a good art community at school.”
McCallen said they wanted to integrate art into every student’s college experience.
The club had its first event of the year, Sun Prints and Socializing, on Friday, Sept. 5 on the lawn between Thomson and Welch. Beach wrote on the event’s Facebook page that sun prints are officially known as cyanotype printing and were discovered in 1842 by the scientist John Herschel.
“At the time, it was used primarily to reproduce engineering and architectural drawings,” Beach wrote. “When the botanist Anna Atkins learned of the process, she used it to document plant life from her collection, and is credited with bringing the process to the world of photography.”
“It’s a photo process where you lay down blue cyanotype paper and you press plants on it,” Beach said. “It makes a silhouette of the plant.”
She said everyone who attended the event seemed comfortable and that some people stayed even after the event officially ended.
Beach said SLAM is project-based and does not currently hold weekly meetings.
“We’re trying to meet when it’s relevant for projects,” Beach said. “We want to execute things and do workshops when we meet.”
McCallen said SLAM is collaborating with other clubs and programs, including Amnesty International and the Citizens of the World House, on events related to the visual arts, such as museum trips, workshops and installing art on campus.
Their next project is a trip to Indiana University on Sept. 19 for a “print-making bonanza,” McCallen said.
Group members will meet established print makers, attend their lectures and visit the Indiana University Art Museum.
“It’s an opportunity for us to meet artists who are in grad school,” Beach said. “We are hoping to bring back the print-making we learn there to campus.”
SLAM is currently looking for new members and is not making the group exclusive to art majors. Anyone interested in “creativity, making art, and appreciating art,” is welcome to join, Beach said.
“I think the great thing about SLAM is that art is universal,” McCallen said. “It can bring other clubs together. I think art does that.”