Art Club getting involved in election by hosting political cartoonist

By Brittany Muldoon, Staff Writer

October 3, 2012

With the presidential election coming up in November, everyone is looking for ways to get involved in the world of politics. While some people are perfectly content with simply researching the candidates and their agendas, others prefer to engage in creative interpretation of the issues. High Point University’s own Art Club is doing just that.

The current co-presidents of the Art Club, Olivia Bruner and Mary Williams, are committed to helping the club thrive and their goal is to nurture creativity within the student body here at HPU. Art Club meets every Thursday at 7 p.m. in the Wilson School of Commerce.

According to Williams, one of the best things about being co-president is getting to plan the various activities they do during meetings. Both Bruner and Williams said they aim for a lot of member participation for their activities.

They like to make meetings a learning experience that everyone can enjoy so they are open to suggestions from members for projects. For example, Williams said they had a freshman teach a lesson on origami at one of their recent meetings.

When asked what she thinks the best aspect of Art Club is, Bruner said that Art Club meetings are a great way for people to have fun because “they provide an opportunity for people to freely express themselves without getting a grade on their work.”

People who are interested in broadening their horizons and improving their art skills in a casual and fun environment are always welcome at Art Club meetings.

In light of the upcoming election, Bruner and Williams have planned a political cartoon project for members of the Art Club to work on during the next few meetings.

They introduced the topic of the political cartoon at their meeting on Sept. 27 in order to familiarize club members with the general concept. They also worked on introductory exercises that focused on the most recognizable, prominent features of politicians in order to help members come up with ideas on how to draw their own political cartoons.

Then, they will take things to the next level. Members of the Art Club will welcome Steve Brodner, a professional political cartoonist, speak about his work on Oct. 3 at 4 p.m. on campus in the Phillips Auditorium.

Brodner is a freelance artist and has been featured in “The New Yorker” several times. According to stevebrodner.com, throughout his career he has covered “eight national political conventions for Esquire, “The Progressive,” “Village Voice,” and others” through visual essays. Brodner has also published several books of his work and produced a number of short films.

This event is open to all students and faculty. In fact, according to Bruner, many teachers in the Art Department are requiring their students’ attendance because they recognize the importance of this opportunity to expose students to someone who has had a large impact on political art in the real world. He is expected to speak about his work, the process of his art, and how he first began his work on political cartoons.

Members of the Art Club are also looking forward to attending Brodner’s presentation. Cristy Hernandez, SGA officer of the Art Club, said she wants to “learn about art journalism and his thought process when thinking through a new project. It seems that creating such a simple drawing that carries such a big message just comes easy to him.” She is excited to hear how he will translate his art into an “exciting presentation” for the students and faculty of HPU.

After seeing Brodner speak, members of the Art Club will continue to work on their own political cartoons at subsequent meetings. When this political cartoon project is finished, the officers of Art Club will pick a few of their members’ cartoons to display in the Student Art Gallery.

Bruner and Williams encourage anyone who is even remotely interested in art or politics to attend this session because it is a great opportunity to try something new. Bruner said she hopes that people with aspirations in art can “use him as an inspiration” and take part in the political cartoon project with the Art Club.