By Pete Barell
Last Spring, the College of Arts, Communications and Design (then called SVPA) developed new efforts to create collaborative networks among art students on campus. A Dean’s Student Advisory Committee was created, opening up a sounding board for ideas to flow upwards from the student base to department heads and Dean Zahler himself. At the Assembly for the Arts, representatives from each department within the CACD discussed as a group ways in which to network and build in-roads among the artistically inclined on campus.
Now, in perhaps the most ambitious cross-department collaborative effort, senior Arts Management major, Hannah Fitch is unveiling the Festival of the Arts — an honors thesis, and honors conference for this year.
“It’s basically a celebration of the arts on campus,” explained Fitch. “To celebrate each art entity that we have at LIU Post and to show that we are a very strong arts community.” The festival will be taking place campus-wide on Oct. 16, 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. and will feature a myriad of arts events, talks and showings to enjoy. The event has its own Facebook page and fliers have been distributed on campus and through LIU email.
“There is going to workshops, presentations, lectures, performances. There is a PCDC performance and then the [Post Theater Company] Venus show that night, which is nice,” said Fitch.
“There are art shows and professional panels, people coming in from outside of school. Actually, professionals from the Walter Finley Gallery in New York City, which is one of the oldest galleries there is. So they are going to do a presentation. There is also a food historian who is coming in at night to compare art to food, which is pretty cool, and you wouldn’t think of that.”
Fitch began brainstorming ideas for her thesis last February. She realized that such a project had not been tackled before at LIU Post. “From there is spiraled into what it is now,” continued Fitch. “Barbara Applegate is my thesis advisor and she’s been wonderful in helping me prepare for this. I’ve gotten support from the Dean and the new CACD. Of course the Honors Program is on board.” Applegate is the museum director for the Steinberg Museum.
The day is meant to unify artists on campus, and spread knowledge of the arts on campus — Fitch stressing that this is a collaborative effort. In the organizational phase, Fitch contacted the CACD Dean, and from there was able to cooperate with individual department heads who rallied students and assets to join in.
“Previously I had never, ever seen a student film. So that’s why I’m excited to go and see what that work is about. And people don’t even know what the Arts Management major is about, so there is a student panel, students talking about what it really is to be an arts manager.”
Up next, Fitch has big plans to travel to Denmark. “I’m going [there] to set up a video installation exhibition for professor Benjamin Gerdes, one of the media professors on campus,” she said. Fitch landed the project after being contacted by Gerdes, who was seeking a curatorial assistant.
“I’ve been contacting artists from around the world trying to culminate this exhibition,” continued Fitch. “Video isn’t something I am completely familiar with, so it’s nice to explore a new discipline. I really like it so far, and I get to spend ten days in Copenhagen!” Following graduation, Fitch hopes to attend graduate school for a Masters degree in Art History. She plans to become an art museum curator.