Art students are usually known for their individual creativity, however, the formation of the Artists Alliance group on Louisiana Tech’s campus has merged that creativity into a collaborative effort.
“There are currently 37 members in the group,” said Matthew Knopps, a graduate student adviser of Artists Alliance. “Our group will continue to grow because right now we’re allowing a grace period since school is just starting.”
Marguerite Hogue, president of the alliance and senior studio art major, said that the group will hold workshops to teach the members skills that will benefit them in a professional environment.
“We will learn how to use a laser cutter, 3D printer, a vinyl cutter and many more tools,” Hogue said. “We will be able to gain certification allowing our members to be able to use such equipment in their career.”
Hogue said the Artists Alliance was not formed solely to gear art students up for graduation.
“One purpose of the group is to create a sense of community within the school of art,” she said.
There are three different fields within Tech’s School of Art, Hogue said.
“We have photography, communications design and studio art,” she said. “We want for it to be a collaboration between all of the disciplines so that we can build off of each others’ strengths.”
Hogue said if everyone within the department shares their talents with each other, it will benefit the group members as a whole.
“I don’t necessarily know how to shoot my work because I haven’t had to take a photography class,” Hogue said. “If we do a workshop where people can bring their cameras and teach us how to use it we will become multi-talented.”
Hogue said there may be students who are interested in sculpting but are unfamiliar with the tools at the shop.
“We will bridge that gap,” she said. “This group is to help everyone become more well-rounded.”
Knopps said Jessica Slaughter from the North Central Louisiana Arts Counsel was present at the second meeting of the year to expose the group members to the opportunities available to them in Ruston and surrounding areas.
“The Artists Alliance can connect with NCLAC and they can pull from us if they need work such as paintings, prints, sculptures or murals,” Knopps said. “We are basically a pool of people with talents that the town can take advantage of.”
Knopps said the group is a great opportunity to network.
“Ultimately the best thing you’ll gain from this group is networking in different cities, with different artists and conventions,” Knopps said.
Larry Pleasant said he has been satisfied since joining the Artists Alliance group.
“Since it is my sophomore year I figured I would get more involved here and meet new people,” said Pleasant, a sophomore communication design major. “This group has allowed me to learn other ways of making art through my peers.”
Knopps said the group will not only stay in Ruston to broaden their skills but go elsewhere as well. The group is planning a trip at the end of the year to network with other artists and see the possibilities of pursuing a career using their talents.
“We would like to go to Los Angeles and we are in the works of making that possible,” Knopps said. “We will conduct multiple fundraisers throughout the year to raise money over time.”
Hogue and Knopps said they hope the group they have formed will propel everyone involved to be the artists they have always dreamed they can become.
“We want to be that small stepping stone that leads to an opportunity in the future,” Knopps said.
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