The School of Architecture’s annual Tech Arts Festival was scheduled to take place from Feb. 18 until Mar. 7. With the inclement weather on Feb. 25 and 26, one of the main events had to be rescheduled; although the artwork itself was displayed as planned, the Clough Art Crawl opening was a week later than expected.
On Mar. 5, students, artists and student artists all gathered for three hours of art appreciation and performance. The event was structured so that every half hour was dedicated to a set of performers in a certain category. Several of these sets included poets reading their works to the audience; while this choice might have seemed like a good idea at first, it was ultimately detrimental to quite a few of the presented poems, because there is quite a large gap between being good at creating flowing words and being able to read those words from a podium. A few scribes managed to overcome this gap, and their spoken words glowed in the crowded space. One such orator was Marguerite Murrell, who spent her time on stage talking about paint, but still managed to be interesting and received a resounding round of applause upon finishing her recitation of the aptly named poem, “Paint.”
The other sets of performers included various other art forms, such as a saxophone player, folk music from various countries, a rock band featuring a violin and dancers. One of the more unique performances was Flow Tech, which was composed of a dance involving a hula hoop with flashing and changing lights. This performance was well-received, and helped draw a crowd toward the rest.
Since all of the musical and dance based performances took place on the second floor of Clough, drawing a crowd was a rather interesting feat. People lined up in a circle around the performers as would normally happen, but they also congregated on the bridges above, and leaned against the railings of each floor to look down on the performances. Viewers even lined the staggered staircases, but their odd placement did not diminish the pleasure the audience received from the performances.
Between performances, people happily perused the hallways of Clough, admiring the hanging artworks. Each floor was dedicated to a genre with the first floor being hand drawings. The second floor saw digital artwork, and the third was home to photography as well as the three dimensional pieces such as pottery and stained glass. Among the more notable works were two large origami flowers that William Hudson saw fit to name “Twins,” “Winter is Coming,” which is a stained-glass depiction of a wolf by Alexis Noel and a digitally created picture of the ocean and sky which Constance Perkins titled “Beneath the Surface.” There really is something for everyone hanging on the walls, and one merely needs to take the time to find it.
After the last poetry reading, there was an impromptu open mic that lasted long after the event had ended. While the open mic performers had agreed to the theme of love, their words were, on the whole, quite dark and depressing, and not the best way to end an evening. Even though the night came to a close, and the poets and musicians left the building quiet, the Art Crawl will continue for another few weeks as the hanging works and three dimensional crafts will be left out for viewing and contemplation until March 27. Waiting to view these pieces instead of attending the opening should be preferable to most due to the crowded noisy atmosphere created on the evening of March 5. Anyone who wished to view the hanging art in peace had to find a place out of the way enough to not annoy others while remaining close enough to get the full effect of the art, which is a fine place to be, but quite possibly unattainable. All things considered, the entire event was at the same time a huge success (for those performing or listening to the music) and a disaster (for those interested in the artwork that speaks for itself).