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Peace of Art Exhibit

It was the promise of free pizza that drew students to the Wright Museum on the afternoon of Nov. 9, but it was the talent of their peers that convinced them to stick around. The event showcased the creativity of students in the Advanced Mentoring Program (AMP) 200 course entitled “Peace of Art.” Under the instruction of Assistant Professor of Music, Yvonne Wu, students spent a semester meeting once a week to discuss the therapeutic nature of art. While Wu is known for her musical instruction, “Peace of Art” was a course in which she encouraged students to find solace in all forms of art.

Elena Nasser ‘23, a transfer student from Grand Rapids, MI, was excited to share her experience. A thespian and a poet, Nasser was thrilled to flex her creative muscles during her semester in “Peace of Art.” Unlike other art courses, “Peace of Art” has served as a way for students to figure out what art means to them, as well as how it helps to keep them grounded. Nasser’s favorite part of the course was that it helped her to develop the discipline to be creative for at least an hour each day. Being required to do so, said Nasser, allowed her to develop a creative routine of her own that she intends to continue well after her AMP class concludes next month. Nasser’s display at the exhibit consisted of a number of her original poems. Her poetry covered a variety of different topics, including her love for her mother, fear, and self-reflection. 

The possibilities in Wu’s AMP course seemed endless! Most students in the course brought original poems to display, but there were also a number of visual artists. The students’ visual art was created via a number of different mediums. A particularly interesting display was “Atelophobia,” created by Aurora Strommen ‘24. The word atelophobia means “the fear of imperfection,” which was conveyed excellently in the poignant quotations that Strommen incorporated into her work. Strommen’s artwork was done entirely on index cards. Another standout piece of art was a canvas painting by Darcel Royster ‘24. Royster’s painting depicts her favorite cartoon characters from her childhood. The painting garnered lots of attention not only due to its connection to familiar characters, but also because of Royster’s use of vibrant colors. Her incorporation of the characters Penny Proud from “The Proud Family” and LeShawna from “Total Drama Island” was greatly appreciated, as they are two of the very few strong Black female cartoon characters. 

The “Peace of Art” exhibition was only displayed between Nov. 9 and Nov. 12. The course will not be offered for the spring semester. However, if students wish to get involved with similar projects, Yvonne Wu is going to be teaching another AMP 200 course next semester. Her new course, entitled, “Arts At Beloit: Practice, Community,” is available to sophomore students, but juniors and seniors are able to request enrollment by contacting Wu. The course will focus on ways that students can become involved with the arts on campus, as well as how they can continue to nourish their artistic skills and eventually apply them to their careers post graduation. Yvonne Wu is also the director of Beloit College’s InterArts ensemble. 

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