Northwestern Art Review brings artistic discussion, events to campus

Rachel Davison, Arts and Entertainment Assistant Editor

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Dingy dorm life and artistic expression come together in “Ramen & Renoir: The Art of Living in College,” a blog column run through the Northwestern Art Review’s website.

Medill freshman Clare Varellas, who writes the column, was on an NU-sponsored art tour of Chicago in the fall when she met and first spoke to NAR President Aileen McGraw. Later in Fall Quarter, Varellas joined the web team and started blogging.

“I had always loved visiting museums and seeing these great works here, and being with other Northwestern students that were also inspired by them kind of made me realize that I wanted to dig into that passion further while I was here,” Varellas said. “(The blog) is a series that highlights ways in which college students can easily incorporate artistic style into their lives, because I feel like art is something that should be appreciated everyday, even if you’re not always going to a museum.”

Northwestern Art Review brings art commentary, student events, group collaborations and web content to NU’s campus.

The organization publishes a journal of student written essays and examinations of art twice a year, in Fall and Spring Quarter, and maintains a website with original student content. The journal’s editorial staff takes submissions from students at universities all over the country.

“Northwestern Art Review is NU’s hub for the creation, examination and discussion of visual arts” McGraw said. “We biannually publish an art review, which I think is amazing because it spotlights undergraduate work beyond Northwestern and undergraduate thinking about art, which sometimes can seem esoteric.”

The most recent issue of the journal included many types of work, including visual work and creative essays. NAR takes submissions from students of all majors, not just art history and art theory and practice.

“In the journal this past fall, (journal Editor-in-Chief) Kathryn Watts and I were so excited to expand what exactly an art essay meant,” McGraw said. “I am really excited to see us sort of pushing boundaries on what people talk about.”

During Fall Quarter, art history Prof. S. Hollis Clayson moderated an NAR career panel which included graphic designers, people working at auction houses, advertisers and others as panelists. The career panel was one of the yearly events hosted by NAR, the others including the Abandoned Art Market, where can students buy work by art theory and practice students, and GalleREAD, happening on March 5.

GalleREAD is being put on in collaboration with Helicon Literary Magazine, PROMPT Literary Magazine and The Slam Society at the Dittmar Gallery in Norris University Center. NAR is accepting prose, poetry and artwork submissions until Feb. 26.

NAR recently received applications to add members to their staff’s different teams, which include design, web, street and editorial. Though applications are now closed, McGraw believes that NAR does a great job of bringing in new members who are interested and excited about learning new skills.

When the executive board members change Spring Quarter, Varellas will become the next web Editor-in-Chief. She hopes to continue to combine her passions for multimedia journalism and art and continue to improve the website and its content.

“I want to make it an online hub for artistic style,” she said. “Our publication that comes out twice a year is nationally known for its incredible student essays about art and such.  I want to make the website something that is continually updated with creative content about art so it can supplement the regular publication and match it in quality.”

Twitter: @razdav5678