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Kicking off Earth Week: The Colby Museum of Art hosts sustainability themed art party

On Thursday, Apr. 20, the Colby College Museum of Art hosted its biannual Art Party. This semester, the theme was centered around sustainability and art that features nature. Art Party consisted of a scavenger hunt, highlighting Winslow Homer’s The Trapper (1870), William Samuel Horton’s The Artist’s Son and His Nurse in an English Garden (1898), and Thomas Chambers’s Landscape (c. 1843-1860), all of which include elements of nature. In addition, attendees enjoyed live music, catered food, a selection of beverages, a take-home prize, and other art-related activities to foster interaction and creativity within the museum.

“We have Winslow Homer in there, and some of the greatest artists and people do not take the time to go look at it because I don’t think it is spoken about a lot at Colby. Art Party is a way to welcome people into the museum and hopefully get them interacting with the museum, the art and hopefully leave with the feeling that they should go more,” Ingrid Lauerwald `23 said.

Lauerwald also spoke to The Colby Echo about the theme of Art Party.

“We decided to focus on nature and sustainability. That is why we chose to do reusable Nalgene water bottles, they are good quality and people actually want to reuse them. [The activities] in general showed that you can be creative and sustainable. In fact, you need to be creative to be sustainable. We wanted it to be fun for people and we wanted people to leave with something that they genuinely love that was customizable and their own and could be reused to minimize waste and then also have a greater appreciation for the art with nature in it,” Lauerwald said. 

Annika Lambert `26, a student who attended the event with friends from her dorm, found that it was a nice way of bringing people together within the space of the museum.

“I had been meaning to go to the museum and so this was a great way to gather people. The big tables facilitated an environment where people could interact with one another. I enjoyed all of the crafts and the music was a big draw. I want to go back,” Lambert said.

The Museum Student Advisory Board had been meeting for the last four weeks to discuss the details and plan out the event. As the team collaborated to put on a successful event, there were many components that required coordination and specific arrangements.

“We had the music so that meant contacting different bands and trying to set up a time to coordinate pricing and coordinate a playlist. Then we had to set up the sound system and contact the Colby Music Incubator so that we could acquire the sound system. In terms of the water bottles, we brainstormed a lot of different ideas while operating under a budget,” Lauerwald said. “There were a lot of different factors that go into it. Everything is really planned out. People make posters and there is also the marketing of the whole event. It is not coming up with the idea that is the hard part, it is actually making sure that we find a way to make it work where it is affordable and also high quality.”

In addition to planning an event to strengthen the relationship between the museum and the College’s students, it has been a learning experience that has provided many with the opportunity to work with other students. 

“People do have designated roles but it is very collaborative. If someone needs help with something, even at the event, people will leave their assigned position to help them… I have learned how to better think on my feet and [this work] has opened my eyes because in the moment there is so much going on and so many people coming in. It can be a little overwhelming, but I have learned being able to observe that situation and place myself in a way that is most helpful to everyone else,” Lauerwald said.

Check out the Museum of Art’s website and newsletter, which feature updates on current exhibitions and new events and programs. 

“You do not have to be good at art to do our activities. The point is not to be the best artist in the room, it is to just enjoy the art and enjoy being creative,” Lauerwald said. 

~ Annie Goldstein `26

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