On Tuesday, Nov. 1 the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point students could be found at a studio night event in the Noel Fine Arts Center’s Sculpture Studio creating ceramic pendants, bracelets, key chains, zipper pulls and much more.
The event was hosted by SCULPT, a student organization on campus focused on the practice of sculpture, and other 3D art forms.
Amanda Langer, senior 3D bachelor of fine arts major, said that while the club is primarily focused on sculpture students, that they still welcome students of any major who have an interest in sculpture.
“They don’t have to be art majors,” Langer said. “The mission of SCULPT is to provide students with opportunities to network and grow professionally in the field of sculpture and provide opportunities that they normally are not going to get just through their classes.”
Langer said one of the ways that SCULPT helps its students is by networking with other artists, seeing their field of study being performed in the real world, going to different conferences and bringing in visiting artists to the UWSP community.
“These conferences are a form of exposure to market ourselves,” Langer said. “Also, a lot of our visiting artists come to UWSP because they’ve met with our students on these trips and have developed relationships with them.”
Najah Alboushi, alumna communications and 3D bachelor of fine arts major, said that SCULPT does a lot of fundraising to help fund the organization’s activities.
“One of our biggest things we do is the glass pumpkin sale in October,” Alboushi said. “All of the funds that are raised go towards bringing in our visiting artists, which are usually technical and conceptual artists, and allowing us to go to SOFA, which is a sculptural artists conference.”
Langer said that the main goal this year is to reach out to the Stevens Point community and show them how much the organization has appreciated everything they have done for them over the years.
“We want to focus on giving back to the campus and the community members around us because we’ve received so much support from them. That’s why we started doing these studio nights, to try and reach out to more students and community members to give them the opportunities to touch sculpture without actually being in classes” Langer said.
Alboushi said that the Stevens Point community’s role has been extremely vital in keeping not only SCULPT, but the 3D art department afloat.
“They have done a lot to keep us going,” Alboushi said. “Most of our students are glass students, and they were going to cut our program last year. Luckily we got a lot of donations from the community to keep it going for at least another two years.”
Langer said that the practice of sculpting, and any other form of art, is a very important form of expressing one’s true self, along with questioning the world around us.
“I think if you talk to any of our students about their work you’ll see people grappling with some deep philosophies,” Langer said. “Art is a practice that kind of forces you to understand yourself, your relationship with others and your place within the world on a deeper level that is constantly pulling things into question. So it’s a super deep, thoughtful way to spend your time.”
Alboushi said that a lot of her inspiration for her sculpting comes from her identity as a person and what that has meant to her.
“I am an American, but my dad is from Syria and I think that has had a pretty big toll on how I view myself and how others view me,” Alboushi said. “I’d like to think of my art as a form of social activism to get people aware of all the cultures, especially my culture, to help them understand that I am an American, but that I am also Syrian and that’s okay.”
Georgina Graff, senior 2D and 3D bachelor of fine arts major said that at the end of the day SCULPT wants people to be exposed, involved, or interested in the fine craft of sculpting, and other 3D art forms, to come to their studio nights.
“There are a lot of funky people in SCULPT, myself included, and we’ve got a whole bunch of characters here that are interested in all different areas of the art world,” Graff said. “They are just pursuing what they want to do and working their asses off to get that done, all while making some really cool stuff in the process.”
Graff said that they want as many people coming to play with SCULPT’s tools as possible because a big part of what makes 3D art so great is getting your hands messy, sweating, and seeing how your art works out.
“It’s important to work with your hands,” Graff said. “We sit at a computer and type our words instead of writing them down, we type a text message instead of writing a hand written note or postcard but it’s really important to be connected to your body when creating things, because without creation life is really boring. One of the best ways to explore this practice is through sculpting.”
SCULPT meets every Monday at 5 p.m. in the NFAC’s Sculpture Studio, room 197.
Arts and Entertainment Editor