The Vermont Cynic

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Students propose new club for artists

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Absence can sometimes be intentional in art, like in the use of white space. Other times, it’s nothing more than missing content.

Three students are attempting to fill a void in the University’s art scene by starting an art club for students of all backgrounds.

Senior Rachael Nutt, sophomore Addie Zinner and junior Ryan Gyukeri are hoping to “form a supportive community for students who study, create and/or appreciate art,” as stated in the Art Club’s mission statement. 

Senior Rachael Nutt (left), sophomore Addie Zinner and junior Ryan Gyukeri discuss their efforts to form an Art Club in Williams Hall March 23. They hope to offer the community a place for art creation, application, and conservation.  ERIN LUCY/The Vermont Cynic

Senior Rachael Nutt (left), sophomore Addie Zinner and junior Ryan Gyukeri discuss their efforts to form an Art Club in Williams Hall March 23. They hope to offer the community a place for art creation, application, and conservation. ERIN LUCY/The Vermont Cynic

“We kind of want this to be a place where people can be dorky about art and stuff,” said Gyukeri, the club’s treasurer. 

Nutt, the founder and president, was inspired by associate professor Helmstutler Di Dio who noted that the University lacked an organized art club.

Most students are surprised to learn the University doesn’t already have an art club, she said.

“That’s been our leading fact,” Nutt said. “People have been like, ‘You weren’t already here?’”

She said the club will offer activities at a ratio of “two-thirds crafts, one-third talking,” the “talking” being workshops and speeches given by alumni, members of the department and community members.

“We have a lot of artists that we take pride in in Burlington, so it would be cool to reach out to them,” Nutt said.

As of the first Art Club meeting March 23, membership is wavering at “eight or nine students,” Nutt said.

Members, like junior Sophie White, are already thinking about what the club will bring to campus.

“It would be nice to reach out to those who don’t want to do [art] classes, or especially those who can’t,” White said. “You don’t need to be good–art is whatever you want it to be.”

The Art Club is currently undergoing SGA’s process for official club recognition, Nutt said. This would afford them certain benefits, like funding and increased visibility.

“The process of becoming a club is difficult because we’re brand, brand new,” Nutt said. “In order to get funding, we have to be SGA-recognized.”

She said clubs need to have a president, a treasurer and eight other members. Clubs must also prove their relevance to a wide range of students.

Junior Niki Brown, SGA chair of club affairs, works with clubs during the recognition process.

Brown said she meets with prospective clubs periodically “to advise them on the constitution, see how everything is going and answer any questions they may have about becoming a SGA-recognized club.”

“We’ll see what works and what doesn’t,” Nutt said, “and we’ll be able to have more activities and get more people involved in the fall.”

The first event hosted by the Art Club this semester will be an instructional portrait session led by senior Claire Spies, she said.

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Students propose new club for artists