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Putting the ‘Art’ in Party

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This Friday, April 13, the studio arts and art history departments held their annual pARTy, an event that allows people all across campus to enjoy and appreciate the work of artists on Swarthmore’s campus. At least one hundred students gathered in Beardsley Hall this week and wandered through this popular event.

Beardsley had all of the essentials for a good party: music, art, drinks (for those over 21) and food. Approaching Beardsley in the hot spring weather, many people were lined up at the various food trucks to grab something to eat before perusing various works of art. Upstairs, live jazz music flooded the rooms.

From karaoke to advice from philosophy professors, there was something for everyone. Most importantly, it was an event supporting and highlighting the many talented artists here at Swarthmore College.

Liz Whipple ̕ 18, a studio art major, is one of the many people involved with pARTy and is one of its biggest supporters, citing the importance and uniqueness of this event as its best qualities.  Whipple explained that a huge portion of the success of pARTy can be credited to Stacy Bomento and Meg Gebhard, both staff members in the art department.

“For me personally, as a member of the art history and studio art departments, pARTy has been a way both for me to really get to know faculty and staff in a personal way, which has certainly made me more successful and happy in my time at Swarthmore,” Whipple said. “It’s also been a way to get my friends who pay zero attention to the arts at Swat to engage with all the amazing work that students are doing!”

While so often at Swarthmore we get caught up in the stress of everyday life, pARTy serves as a welcome change of pace.

“PARTy is a space that is super unique on Swarthmore’s campus — where faculty, staff and students can spend time and get to know each other in a non-academic and relaxed setting, and where the lines between academic and social life and adults and students can be blurred in a really exciting way.” Whipple explained.

PARTy is also noteworthy for its reputation as a particularly safe and open space.

“It is also one of few open events that I personally feel is a safe wet space — you can drink and have fun in a well-lit area monitored by your peers and others who are going to look out for you. PARTy’s planners have created a wet space that encourages a different kind of social scene than we usually see at on-campus parties, which often revolve around a culture of binge drinking,” Whipple commented.

Lea Slauch ̕ 18 was one of the attendees at this year’s pARTy who came to support her friends’ work throughout the year. For her, it was enjoyable to look at the stages of art in the process of creation.

“I really like walking through people’s studios and kind of seeing their work space. Sometimes their models and stuff are still there too, you can kind of see a little bit of the product and the process,” Slauch explained.

“A lot of times I hear about what people are doing in the art department, but it’s kind of like an exhibition of all of that, that you don’t really get to see,” Slauch said.

Overall, the importance of showcasing the work of Swarthmore’s artists, who are so often not highlighted, cannot be understated. For many students, much of the art department is a mystery, but pARTy pulls back the curtain and allows students and faculty to see the incredible talent of Swarthmore artists.

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