Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 8
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

‘Big Art’ event at Verve Coffeehouse showcases ‘blue moon,’ student art

Last Wednesday night at Verve Coffee and Art House, blue moon unveiled its latest edition of “Big Art,” a celebration of Whitman’s artistic community. The event, which ran for two hours, featured poetry and prose readings from last year’s blue moon, musical performances and art from the 2007 magazine for sale.Sophomore Liz Townsend performs at blue moon

Verve also hosted “Big Art” last year. “The venue is a great size for an event like this, and the walls are ideal for hanging art,” said Peter Means, a Verve employee. “The room has the perfect aesthetic for the art. Plus there’s really great coffee here. The beatniks were definitely onto something.”

The event was packed throughout the entire evening with student performers, Whitman students and Walla Walla community members. “It’s so great to see the Whitman community support blue moon and the arts,” says Mark Prentice, a staff member for the magazine this year who spent the night in charge of art sales.

Emily Davis, whose work appears twice in the 2007 blue moon, read one of her prose pieces. “In the past I know there’s been a problem with lack of diversity amongst submissions, and events like this one get people excited about submitting. It’s like these shirts say. Who doesn’t want to submit?” Davis was referring to the staff t-shirts unveiled Wednesday night, which play on a dominatrix theme encouraging others to “submit.” The opposite side of the shirt has the submission date for the next edition of blue moon.

Sophomore Liz Townsend performs at blue moon“Big Art” also provided new Editor-in-Chief Kate Rosenberg her first opportunity to organize and promote a large-scale event. “The biggest challenge [of an event like this] is illustrating to campus how this magazine is a vital and relevant force in the midst of academia,” she said. “I also love all these sexy musicians!”

One of the musicians present was Christie Seyfert, a junior who has played “Big Art” before. “I love blue moon and I love to play. Why wouldn’t I be here?” Picking a favorite aspect of the evening, she pointed out “all the powerful people here.” As an example, she gestured toward fellow musician Jenny Gilbert, who was playing at the time. “See?” she said. “Powerful people.”

Gilbert’s performance was popular among the crowd, including Means, who noted it as the highlight of “Big Art.”

Audience members also appreciated the lack of pretension among performers, who mingled freely with the crowd and often rejoined their friends on couches or the floor when they finished performing. “If you’re not involved in playing music,” said student Mallory Powers, “you’re usually not involved in that community. But there’s a ton of people here. This feels like a community.”

The effect of the night on the community was also palpable. As the last few students were getting ready to leave for the night, a Walla Walla community member asked if he could play a song. He brought his own guitar, played two Simon and Garfunkel songs quietly, and slipped out before most people even noticed the music had stopped.

View additional photos of the event at: www.whitman.edu/bluemoon.

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