Neither the pandemic nor the rain stopped the Keene State College’s Art and Design department to have their annual barbeque event this year.
“There are a lot of kids on campus who want to get out and do something,” said Paul McMullan, faculty coordinator at Thorne Sagendorph Art Gallery and KSC art professor. McMullan further said, “We like to do this so that the first-year students get to know each other and if they can get the group to work through the years together, it’s really nice.” He added, “Students learn as much from each other as they do from the teachers.”
Some of the highlights of the events were barbecued hot dogs, drinks, candies, printed “Art and Design” T-shirts, chalk artwork on the sidewalk, and hanging out with people.
McMullan said that the students used to decorate their T-shirts in the past years, however, they printed the shirts this year for safety. The design on the shirt was created by KSC design professor Randall Hoyt.
KSC senior Bryce Michaels drew an orca with the chalk on the sidewalk. Michaels is majoring in environmental studies and is adding a minor in arts this year. Michaels said, “I didn’t know what I wanted to make, but animals are kind of my passion for environmental studies and so I figured of doing an endangered animal and putting it out on the sidewalk.”
Another student who enjoyed the event was KSC first-year Evenor Pineda. Pineda is majoring in arts and he loves the art program already. He said, “The teachers are nice, they really critique and help you better yourself, [and] help you fix your mistakes rather than just pointing them out. That’s always nice.”
Professor of art and design Lynn Richardson said that the event is more for the students than the department itself. She said, “Looking around at the students, I mean, they are all standing around, talking to each other, and I have had so many students write to me this semester that they are finding it hard to meet people. This is a way that like-minded individuals can all kind of get together.”
Richardson thinks the classes are very different this year due to the pandemic. She said that the students are really quiet in her classrooms this semester. She further said, “I’m used to the sculpture studio being so loud, it’s really quiet, I don’t know.”
Richardson also thinks that it is hard to recognize people with their masks on. “You’re looking at a person’s eyes to figure out if they understand what’s going on, if they hear you okay, some people are just nodding, you know, there is no chit chat,” said Richardson, “I just wish everybody was talking more.”
Michaels thinks events like this are important and fun to have everyone together, to see what other people are creating and to get to know other people. He said, “It gets us all together to see each other [be]cause I know some people here, but I obviously don’t know everyone in the art department.”
The president of the Art Collective club, Keegan O’brien also announced in the event that the club meets every Thursday at 5 p.m..
McMullan said the art and design department will try to put up more events. He said one of the ideas they are thinking about is having an outdoor movie night with social distancing.
Pineda said, “If there are gonna be more events similar to this, or even better than this, I would love to go to more events.”
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