CONTRIBUTED BY LIA FOX
The sound of freshly sharpened colored pencils gently scraping across a piece of paper as an engaging conversation goes on in the background is just one thing you would observe happening during one of the BHS Artistry Club’s Zoom meetings.
The BHS Artistry Club, a new club that began second semester, serves as a safe space for artists of all levels to gather together and create art. So far, the club has about a dozen members, but they are hoping for more people to show interest and become part of the community.
All meetings are taking place during Friday X-block over Zoom, and will continue to for the foreseeable future due to the ongoing pandemic. Freshman and co-founder Lia Fox decided she wanted to create the club after seeing the lack of art clubs that were offered.
“I was looking through the list and I could not find an art club, or at least one that I felt like joining. I felt like there was a lack of art clubs in the school. My friend and I were thinking that it would be so fun if we could make one,” Fox said.
Working alongside the other founders, Fox wanted to figure out how people could work with the materials they had to produce art that they would appreciate and enjoy the process of making.
“’School art materials have been really strained this year because they had to give it to all the individual students for art classes. The way it’s working is you have to use the materials that you have,” Fox said. “We let everyone know that a simple pencil and paper will work. If you don’t have that, we can figure out a way to get that to you. That’s sort of what we’re starting with.”
Co-founder and freshman Mia Fell emphasized that the club is welcoming to all artists. She wants all members to feel comfortable and to feel like they are part of a strong community within the club.
“Our goal is to create a safe space for students who enjoy art as much as we do, and of any skill level to create art and to express themselves creatively. We want people to feel like there’s a place for them at the school,” Fell said.
Fox hopes that all of the art produced will have the opportunity to be shared and they are working on a way for the art to be shown digitally.
“By the end of the year we want to create a portfolio of different art challenges we did and the art created. People don’t have to share their art if they don’t feel comfortable, of course, but we would love everyone’s work to be featured,” Fox said.
While living in such technologically forward times, the founders are using social media in their favor to spread the word about their club. They already have an Instagram account, where followers can receive updates about the club and fill out a form to join.
Rather than teaching art, the club founders will decide on a theme for the meeting, and then each member can create a piece of art inspired by their interpretation of that topic. Co-founder and freshman Ananda Scott worked with her fellow co-founders to develop the plan for the first meeting. As for all future meetings, they are open to hearing members’ ideas about what they want to work on.
“We’re going to have a different theme for each meeting. For example, at the first meeting the theme was seasons, and we allowed everyone to kind of sit around, talk to each other while they made an art piece that had to do with the theme. At the end, if people want to, they share what they created if they felt comfortable,” Scott said.
Although the club has just begun, it has already received positive feedback from its members. Freshman Amy Sun attended the meeting and enjoyed the activity they completed together and the positive environment that the club fostered.
“The leaders tried to get to know everyone by asking questions and getting everyone involved in the conversations. Overall, they were really nice to everyone and super welcoming. It was a super fun time and I’ve actually recommended the club to two of my friends,” Sun said.
All of the founders are happy with how the first few meetings of the club went, and are excited to see their hard work developing the club pay off. Fox is eager to see what the club will grow to become.
“We are definitely really excited about the future of this club,” Fox said. “We cannot wait to watch it grow and become a safe space for creativity of all types.”