by: Ethan Johnson
photo credit: Ethan Johnson
The AntARTers ART Club — an open and accessible art club on campus — hosted their first art show of Winter Quarter which showcased a wide variety of student-made artwork to the local community on Jan.15.
Asking only for a passion for the arts, the club accepts and exhibits the artwork of all creatively driven students regardless of year or major. Paintings, drawings and sculptures made of acrylic, oil, gouache, digital, graphite, ink and ceramic filled the Joseph L. White Room located in the Cross Cultural Center.
“The art shows are a great way to showcase our members’ talents, because like I have mentioned before, some of our artists feel like ‘oh, I’m only a hobbyist artist, I do this in my spare time,’ but even though they say that, a lot of them are super talented, so these shows are a great way to share their art to the greater UCI community,” co-social chair Thu-An Hanley said.
AntARTer member Feliz Aguilar displayed a collection of geometrically “intricate doodles” in ink, which attracted a large crowd at the event. Since joining in Fall 2018, Aguilar has found comfort in the community AntARTers offers.
“I would definitely recommend it to all the shy people, there’s a lot of shy people in this club but you see them come out of their shells,” Aguilar explained. “I recommend it for first and second years, it really opens you up to a bunch of creative people who are really awesome.”
Second-year pharmaceutical sciences major Juan Zendejas was particularly fond of the ink drawings on display. Interested in the art he saw, Zendejas expressed an inclination to attend the AntARTers ART Club meetings in the future.
“I’ve personally never been to an art show, but this is my first one, and I really like the different types of styles on display,” Zendejas said. “I really like working with pens and ink, so the Astronaut art piece over there really gravitated towards me.”
A lot of work goes into the preparation of these art shows as members collect submissions, reserve a space, construct large boards used for display, type out captions for each piece and also purchase food for the viewers. Apart from advertising the art shows on Facebook and other platforms, the AntARTers ART Club members have another way to draw attention to their events.
“We also publicize in other ways, such as having Petr drops,” Hanley said. “Again, just another way to tie us into the greater UCI community.”
Not long into the show, a line wrapping around the space formed as students waited to receive the Petr stickers, this time with the theme of Petr in the costume of the late Bob Ross.
Apart from hosting art shows, the club also offers a variety of workshops to help students practice and develop their artistic talents in a variety of different mediums.
“Every week we do something different,” Aguilar said. “So one week we do a jam sesh, where you just draw whatever you want, everybody just brings out whatever they’re working on — honestly, the best part is just walking around and seeing what everyone has done — but on the other weeks, we focus on some type of medium. One week we’ll do figure drawing, where people from the club will pose, and we’ll draw them and get a little lesson on how to do that; or we’ll do a sculpture day. One time I made a sculpture in the same style [as] my drawings, which was really fun.”
The AntARTers ART Club offers refuge for many students who — though usually have no affiliation with higher learning art institutions — have a passion for the arts and a need for a creative outlet.
“I’m not an art student, a lot of us are actually STEM students who are just really good at art. I recommend this to people who are like ‘man, I don’t do enough art!’ This club will make you do art,” Aguilar said.