Allison Wordes—Staff Writer
What’s better than letting your fingers have a break from clacking away at the keyboard, and letting your hands try out something new?
Students had the opportunity Wednesday, Nov. 15, to stretch out their creative side. That night, the D’Arte Club held its most recent event in the ceramics studio, attracting dozens of students for an exciting night of creativity.
Over a dozen curious students attended, most of whom had little or no previous experience with clay. Each wheel soon had a pair of hands shaping lumps of clay on it, and the whirring of the motors blended with the chatter and the upbeat music.
Many students succeeded in creating a small bowl or mug, with some guidance.
“You don’t have to be in the arts to be in this club,” said senior Art and Education major Lydia Van Wingerden. It isn’t about what majors the students are pursuing, she said. The club is a way for students to bring out their artistic skill.
Last year, the club hosted a similar ceramics night. They hope to continue this tradition, working with instructors like Jacob Van Wyk and club mentor Matthew Drissell to provide these opportunities.
“It’s for the people who aren’t in art classes,” said Van Wingerden about the design of the club. She said D’Arte is meant to include creative people majoring in engineering, business, and other demanding majors, who are not able to take on extra credits because of their busy class loads.
The D’Arte Club has been around for many years, ebbing and rising with the change in management. Spring of 2017 brought a revival, strengthened by a strong board of members who had a passion for art and good activity planning skills.
“Our events are low-key, and accessible,” said Van Wingerden.
The club, while designed for lower skill sets, still encourages fantastic results. One event earlier in the semester, pour painting, was a huge success and gained positive feedback.
“You just have fun messing around,” said Van Wingerden. After all, she said, you’re not getting graded.
In the future, the club hopes to arrange field trips to expand students’ art knowledge. One potential destination is a museum in Omaha. The board of five members brainstorms for new ways to grow the club.
“I like that they let us use the wheel,” said Heather VanderWoude, sophomore Education major, who came for the first time that night. Students said they gained confidence by being allowed to use actual artists’ equipment and tools. After all, most students do not have art supplies in their dorms to make such things.
For many of the students who came to ceramics night, it was a way to socialize and make new friends without the pressure of perfection.
“Art can be what you make it,” said VanderWoude, about art opportunities. VanderWoude also said she really enjoyed learning a new skill and being creative even as a non-art major.
Coming up in December, the D’Arte Club is combining with the FACT (Future Active Christian Teachers) club to have a Christmas party, creating art to celebrate the season.
Sara Dykstra will continue to organize events for the club after Van Wingerden’s graduation. The group is in search of freshmen eager to promote art and organize activities that can bring out creativity in the student body.