Cultivating community in art

Alexandra Feller, Features Editor

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Courtesy of Bailey Morales
The friday night art group poses in front of their artwork, the result of a directive painting activity.

The Linfield art department was once lively and full of energy. However, in recent years, it has become a place with little interaction.
Senior Bailey Morales wanted to transform the building back into what he saw his junior year when he declared as an art major, “Back when I joined, at night this building was full of people up late all hanging out and doing something. And now, it has kind of died off.”

Morales acknowledges that the culture around the art department has changed and shifted as students and professors have come and gone. Nonetheless, he wanted to create a group that might cultivate a culture of creation.

In Morales’ senior thesis class, students were challenged to create a piece of art in an hour. Rather than using his hour to create a work of art, Morales gathered face painting supplies.

At the end of the hour, students submitted their pieces, and received critique. At the time of his critique, Morales gathered students and gave them creative guidance as they painted each others faces.

“I’m interested in art, and I wanted to involve specifically the creation of it and how people make art. Not necessarily the art itself.”

This is the motivation behind Morales’s Friday night art group. His goal is to facilitate an environment where people feel creatively inspired and free to create whatever they want.

He also wanted to recreate the communal attitude in the art department at Linfield, “Man when I first took an art class, I would walk away from parties to come to the art department to be creative. It was just a good place to be,” Morales said.

Morales was specifically inspired by an analogue from the 60’s called “happenings.” Happenings were instances in which artists would invent creative zones and then leave.

He likes the idea of an artist creating guidelines for people to be creative in, but does not want to cross the line and limit creativity by commanding people to art a certain way.

“There’s been this kind of dialogue I’ve been having with myself of trying to make sure I don’t go too far into being controlling. I just want to create an environment where it happens,” Morales said.

Morales believes that all humans are intrinsically creative and that we show art in our everyday lives. He said “doing art” no matter what medium is just an individual focusing creative energy.

Friday art group is not an official club on campus. Morales points out that the loose structure and low expectations of the group are possibly what encourage attendance.

So far, the group has had three meetings. Morales said they have seen solid attendance to each meeting, and hopes the group continues to grow. He said friday night art group is open to anyone.

If a student wants to be in the Facebook group chat that events are posted in they should message him on Facebook @BaileyMorales.

Even though the friday gatherings typically have a theme, Morales encourages people to come and experience the creative energy, even if they would like to create something on their own.

This is Morales last semester at Linfield, and he hopes do continue doing something similar in his hometown of San Jose, CA.

There are kids who are all roughly the same age living in his neighborhood, but he feels a sense of disconnect, “I want to do after school projects of some sort. Being able to get these kids around the neighborhood into something,” Morales said.

Morales is concerned about what will happen to the art group once he graduates, he hopes someone will still continue to guide the creativity.

“Honestly, if this isn’t up your alley make your own thing, do it, because this school needs that. Regardless of what is coming in the future, this is the kind of stuff that’s important, and I wish that there had been people doing this sort of thing when I started out. So, if this isn’t your thing, do your own thing, that’s all,” Morales said as his parting words.

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