Tech gets creative

Photo by Josh Sandler

Throughout the school year, the Clough Undergraduate Learning Commons is a home to all-nighter study sessions, white-coat clad laboratory classes and even afternoon siestas.

However, starting on Feb. 28, it will become the host of the Clough Art Crawl.

The Clough Art Crawl will convert the area from a study space to a place to view high culture. While this year, statues can already be seen across campus, the Clough Art Crawl is just as special an event.

This will mark the third year of the Art Crawl, where the walls of the undergraduate learning center will be transformed into a temporary gallery for Tech students to hang their own pieces of artwork.

The Clough Art Crawl will kick off in late February and continue until March 1.

The nearly month long art exhibit hopes to inspire its viewers with creativity and individuality. The psuedo-art gallery will showcase the creative efforts of Tech students.

It is all part of the Tech Arts Festival, a celebration of creativity and technology that kicked off on Feb. 14. Coordinators for this exhibition include the Library, offices in the Clough Commons (such as the Communication Lab, OIT and the Center for Academic Enrichment) and the Center for the Office of the Arts.

“We really want to showcase the creativity of Tech students because the average student we found doesn’t really get the opportunity to showcase that side,” said Tearanny Street, the Communications and Social Media Officer for the Library and Clough Commons.  “This event allows us to put that at the forefront.”

This year, 313 total submissions from over 146 artists will be displayed; these artists represent the entire range of both years and colleges at Tech.

Each floor of the Clough will spotlight different media. Drawing and painting works will be displayed on the second floor, poetry, prose and recorded music will be shown on the third floor and photography will be exhibited on the fourth floor.

For the artists, preparing for the Art Crawl acts as an escape from the daily stresses of schoolwork.

“The art show is kind of a push to get something finished.  I kind of would work on it once every couple months but now that it’s coming up, I feel like I have to finish it.  I kind of appreciate that push,” said Erin Hennessey, a Master’s student in Human-Computer Interaction who won the People’s Choice Award last year for her papier-mâché sculpture of E.T.

The sculpture even played a note of the theme song when touched.  She has entered another sculpture in this year’s art show.

“I don’t think I ever would have thought to read my poetry in front of people if it weren’t for [the Art Crawl].  I never really submitted anything before so that gave me a little bit more of confidence to keep writing and to keep reading,” said Alex Duncan, a Masters’ student in Human-Computer Interaction.

He won in Poetry/Prose/Spoken Word for his poem “Nil All” last year and will be submitting pieces again this year.

“After that I went to more poetry readings and now I play music on campus, which I never would have done,” Duncan said.

This year, Tech has given more support to the artists around campus, which increased participation.

Photography submissions have increased because the printing services have printed their works for free.

In addition, the GT Research Network Operations Center will offer an app after the exhibition is over which will allow users to take a tour of the pieces that were previously shown.

Artists have enjoyed the recognition outside of the classroom due to the Art Crawl.

“It was awesome to get my E.T. out in public and to see people taking selfies with it,” Hennessey said.

“That’s one of my favorite things about the Art Crawl.  Some people you didn’t know that were artists and you didn’t know have this passion, it’s been hidden and they’re able to share it with their fellow students and professors,” Street said.