The Society of Art and Illustration: Discover a welcoming on-campus art haven for students.

      Across Eastern, students attend classes, study long hours for tests, and repeat the whole process throughout the entire week. With what little time is left, students have to do chores, work, and clubs. With the increasing societal shift into concentrating on narrowly specific goals to succeed with little interdisciplinary overlap, the Society of Art and Illustration exhibits the opposite of that mindset. Set on giving the creative freedoms and reins to members to explore different artistic mediums, the art club allows students to intermingle and incorporate different influences from life into their work.

      The Society of Art and Illustration headed by Senior President Emma Gerhartand  Junior Vice-President Abigail Slater, provides a refreshing break from external stressors and  a safe haven to work on art of all forms with freedom of expression.The club encourages people from all experience levels to come and participate in art.

      “One of the best things about art club is that you do not have to consider yourself an artist to attend, people from anywhere between entry level through highly experienced attend.” said Gerhart

      An attestation to the diverse interests of the art club can be found through the club’s own President and Vice President who connect their distinct academic disciplines to their art. For Abigail as a Communications major, she spends a lot of time learning how people communicate efficaciously and enjoys how “art expresses that communication of feelings”.

      “Taking time to express myself through art gives me the time needed to reflect, process, and learn a little bit more about myself.” she said.

      Gerhart, on the other hand, uses her major to also help guide her art.

      “As a Psychology major, I have been able to see the importance of art more than ever. Art is truly a healer in so many ways. I find that it can help people express themselves in order to communicate with others. It can also give people a reason to take some much needed time off from the many other things they have on their plate. In the past, art club has had art therapy events with guest speakers who lead us through healing forms of art. I know this has been beneficial to Eastern students because they have expressed that it has taught them a new skill that assists them in coping with challenging circumstances related to their personal and academic lives.” Gerhart said.

      Some of the positive values that the art club encourages is the way that art serves as a form of therapy to delve into new areas of creative pursuits such as watercolor, pastels, collaging,clay and everything in between and beyond. Although the club has many opportunities for the Eastern community, one hurdle has been letting the word spread through campus for more people to join.

      “While Art Club has received a lot of support on Eastern’s campus from various people and organizations, the lack of a fine arts community has made it harder to get the word out about art club and its associated events” Slater said.

      Despite the challenge of Eastern University lacking a Fine Arts program in the Visual Arts concentration, Gerhart and Slater have strove to make it an enriching experience as much as possible through collaborations with other campus clubs such as Habitat for Humanity, Step into Growth, and Inklings in past years. On top of very engaging collaborations, the club also has a fundraising event planned in the spring.

      “We have done all nighters, art therapy events, birdhouse painting, and more. We plan to continue to this tradition and use our SGA funding to sponsor a fun night for Eastern students”. Said Gerhart.

      With the prospect of many exciting and engaging projects in the works, the Society of Art and Illustration encourages individuals of all different majors and experiences to come in and do art. Meetings for the Society of Art and Illustration are held in the Gough Hall Great Room on Tuesdays from 7pm to 9pm weekly unless otherwise noted.

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