by Christine Nappi, Features Editor
If you are looking for a relaxing, freeing environment to express artistic skills, then Sanctus Artem is the club for you.
Sanctus Artem is a place where students can practice any kind of art, such as fine, visual, performance and literary art. The organization has been on campus for the past four years and is open to all students, regardless of artistic ability.
“We run workshops every Tuesday that try to get people on campus involved in any kind of art that they’re interested in,” club co-president Ryan Askin said. “We try to make it inclusive of all art.”
The club hosts art workshops on Tuesday afternoons in Hayden 109. These workshops range from traditional drawing and painting classes, to splatter painting and video-editing. In addition to workshops, Sanctus Artem also partners with Coffee House, which is held one Thursday each month, to sponsor students who want to practice performing arts. In addition, Sanctus Artem holds two art shows a year, where students can submit pieces of visual art to be displayed, or can put on performances such as singing or dancing. The goal of the club is to give students a space to practice any form of art freely.
“Our mission is basically just to provide some kind of creative space for a campus that’s dominated by the opposite aspects [like] business, engineering,” Sanctus Artem Communications Secretary Grace Brakenhoff said.
This semester, Sanctus Artem is hoping to grow their membership on campus. According to club Co-President Mariajose Blas-Perez, Sanctus Artem is planning to introduce “jam sessions” into their artistic mix. These jam sessions, held in the Thomas Hall performing arts room, are a more casual version of Coffee House. Blas-Perez hopes jam sessions will be a way to spark commuter interest and involvement in the club. In addition, Sanctus Artem will also be expanding programs that include other forms of expression, such as literary art.
“A lot of the projects that we’ve done in the past have been more traditional art in the sense of a lot of drawing and painting,” Blas-Perez said. “We’ve been trying to incorporate more writing because we know some people love writing poetry.”
While the club is internally expanding their activities, they also hope to expand externally as well with their involvement on campus by spreading art to other clubs. They are planning on working with various organizations such as the Lasallian Women and Gender Resource Center, the Muslim Student Association, the Black Student Association and the Green Club. Despite the misconception of art not being a prominent aspect of these organizations, Sanctus Artem strives to show how art can be seen in anything.
“Sometimes people are like, how are you going to incorporate art, but we can literally do anything,” Blas-Perez said. “That is always a lot of fun, finding ways to work with other clubs and stuff like that.”
The club is particularly looking to work with Take Back the Night, an international event held to help end sexual violence. Students can submit pieces of art to be displayed during the event, which will take place March 22. According to Blas-Perez, if students are looking to submit art for the event, Sanctus Artem can assist them and provide guidance while they create it.
In addition to increasing student involvement and expanding art throughout the whole campus, Sanctus Artem will also be continuing a collaborative workshops series with business professor William Foote, Ph.D. Foote, having been classically trained in the art of drawing, held this series last semester with the club and Sanctus Artem is planning for it to continue. Foote will be sharing his artistic knowledge with the club for no additional cost.
Members of the club find Sanctus Artem to be an important aspect of the college community for all it can offer to students. It encourages students to practice and enhance their art in the college community.
“We struggled a lot to find the space to do art for a long time, and I feel like having Sanctus Artem on campus definitely brings an aspect of being artistic on campus,” Askin said. “It’s allowed me to have my own creative outlet on campus. Now I can actually go somewhere and do art with people and bounce ideas off each other.”
In addition to encouraging art, Blas-Perez describes the club to not only give students a space to practice art, but also promote the awareness of it.
“The goal is to bring more art awareness, and art that isn’t just painting or drawing. [It’s] doing pretty much anything,” Blas-Perez said. “Anyone can really do art, even if you don’t know you can always learn.”
Sanctus Artem encourages more students to join for all it has to offer them. According to Brakenhoff, the club also has the ability to introduce students to new people.
“I didn’t fit in on campus at all, but I took a risk and went to a Sanctus meeting and now I’m the communications secretary,” Brakenhoff said. “It’s honestly a really nice way to meet people, not just artists specifically, but all kinds of creative types. It’s a super chill environment and the low-stakes, creative vibe is really nice.”