Student-made artwork took over the Curry Indoor Quad on Thursday, April 26 for the first Student Showcase event, which allowed students of all disciplines to share their creative projects with the Northeastern community.
The Student Showcase was organized by the College of Arts, Media and Design (CAMD) Creative Leaders, an honors program, and aimed to create an interdisciplinary way to get people more involved in the arts at Northeastern. Those who attended the showcase voted for their favorite three works. Artists with the most votes were entered into a raffle to win a Vans gift card.
The showcase was small, but it featured a wide variety of student work, from paintings, sculptures and poetry to photography and recorded songs. There was also a video screening area where a number of films and music videos played on loop, and throughout the day, students dropped by to participate in performance art pieces.
“This is the first year that the student showcase has come together,” executive chair of Creative Leaders and junior interactive media and graphic design dual major Raphaela Putz said. “[The showcase] has been an idea for a while now, since Creative Leaders started, but it kind of never happened because we didn’t have enough active members and we didn’t have enough backing to pull it off.”
Creative Leaders was formed two years ago to make it easier for CAMD students to graduate with honors, which can be difficult for arts students as the selection of honors classes applicable to their majors is limited. It also creates a community within CAMD, the newest of Northeastern’s seven undergraduate colleges.
Since this was the first time that Creative Leaders put on a showcase, all members of the group helped to organize and prepare for the event.
“There wasn’t necessarily clear roles for everyone. It was more just like, ‘Okay who wants to look at the artwork, who wants to help set up in the beginning, who wants to make flyers,’” Andrew Hague, Creative Leaders member and third-year digital art and cinema studies combined major, said. “Everyone had a role and everyone had a voice.”
Students wishing to enter their work filled out an online submission form for their projects and answered questions about their project, their inspiration and themselves as artists.
The whole show came together very quickly.
Submissions were due March 17 and the showcase was just nine days later. Creative Leaders had only received 10 submissions by the deadline, but after extending it by a few days to encourage more entries, the showcase had over 60 works of art to consider.
“There was definitely curating because we did want to show high-level work, but the point we wanted to make with the showcase was that it wasn’t just for Creative Leaders and it wasn’t just arts, media and design majors,” Putz said. “It was mainly arts majors because they have the work, but it was open to everyone. It was to show what students are doing and see what else is out there.”
Jessica Ankle, a third-year business major and art and design minor, had three of her colorful landscape paintings in the showcase.
“I had been looking for some shows that I could submit my work to for a while, and I saw this one and I got really excited. I thought that I should submit my work so, that way, people can see it,” said Ankle. “I’m also preparing for my next co-op and I wanted to put that on my résumé.”
Others submitted work for the showcase to give their art a wider audience and viewership.
“I have been working on this video series, and there wasn’t really an outlet for anyone to see it,” Hague said. “I wasn’t really keen on posting weird experimental videos on Facebook … but I like them, I thought it would be nice if someone could see them besides my friends.”
Going forward, Creative Leaders hopes to host a student showcase every year, building on the lessons they learned about organizing the event and curating the work to make future showcases run even more smoothly.
“I learned so much from the process. I have been in a lot of showcases, but being on the other side was really interesting,” Putz said. “We learned some things for next year, definitely a trial run this year.”