Art enthusiasts revitalize club to promote the arts

by Amy Henry | 11/1/93 6:00am

A group of Dartmouth art students are initiating a rebirth of the Dartmouth Art Club, which focuses on the discussion and encouragement of the visual arts and plans events to promote the arts at Dartmouth.

Bissera Pentcheva '95 is directing the club in its initial stage and will act as the club's coordinator for the Fall and Winter terms.

The club adopted the constitution of the former Dartmouth Art Club, which became inactive in 1990 due to lack of student interest. The constitution states: "The specific purpose and objective which the organization shall include is the promotion, through various student activities of undergraduates and through community involvement, and awareness of the arts."

The small group of students which has been meeting for the past three weeks to establish the club's focus has decided to steer away from the rigidness of this former constitution. The club decided not to elect officers, but to function under the direction of a coordinator. Sarah Wolfe '95, who is an exchange student from Wellesley majoring in art history, will take Pentcheva's place as coordinator for the Spring term.

The goals of the present members, who are in the process of planning the club's activities, are to provide an audience for the work of Dartmouth students, and a forum for the discussion of ideas and for criticism of art.

The membership will be semi-exclusive, because Pentcheva and the other members hope to attract a group of students who will make a great time commitment. Members will have a high level of knowledge and interest in the arts in order to promote "profound and intense discussion," Pentcheva said.

The club's target membership is about 15. Most members are currently seniors and juniors who are majoring in art history or studio art.

According to Pencheva, the level of discussion will be far above novice level, thus most members will come from one of these majors, Pentcheva said. "The club is intended for people who are already struggling with the issues of art," she said.

The club continues to focus on a broad spectrum of interests in the field of visual arts , and will depend greatly on the interests and experience of the members, Pentcheva said. The curriculum and courses offered by the art history and studio art departments will have a great bearing on the content of club discussions and activities. "The club is for people with similar interests and similar passions," Wolfe said.

The club will compensate for the fact that "art history courses are often shortsighted in their ability to provide an audience for its students," Pentcheva said.

There has been support for the club by several faculty members within the arts history department. Joel Elgin, a studio art lecturer and director of the Hopkins Center's Studio Art Exhibition Program, is the club's official advisor. Kathleen Corrigan, an art history professor, acts as an informal advisor, particularly with art history theory and method.

Members have discussed an inclusion of living arts in the club's focus. "The club could bring together different focuses of art and different artists could teach each other and identify with the common struggles they face," Wolfe said.

The specific focus of the club is not yet certain. "Right now it is difficult to see how we envision it," Wolf said.

The Art Club hopes to establish a close connection to the Programming Board, Hood Museum, and the Hopkins Center, as resources and as a way of promoting and displaying the art work of its members.

The first two meetings of the Art Club consisted of an informal discussion on the work of Max Beckman and a showing of a documentary on Vincent VanGogh.

An exhibition and catalogue of the Dartmouth student's work is a possible Art Club event, according to Pentcheva. Members also discussed bringing speakers to campus, tying social issues in with the expression of art and collaborating with Collis Center for the showing of student art.

The club meets Monday nights at 6 p.m. in the lounge of Carpenter Hall.