The art world outside of Wesleyan may be notoriously difficult to break into, but students will certainly benefit from an open collaboration of artists who use the Internet as a means of spreading their vision. A new student-run website has popped up to bring visual arts and creative writing into the public eye. SWERVE(D).org, developed by Laura Lupton ’12, Mark Hellerman ’12, and Dan Obzejta ’12, intends to showcase student art and bring Wesleyan’s artistic community together in cyberspace.
“I came up with the idea for SWERVE(D) freshman year with a couple of friends and we have continually talked about doing it since,” says Lupton. “I really hope that this serves as a resource to foster the arts on campus. Hopefully, SWERVE(D) will help open up the sense of a creative community.”
SWERVE(D).org publishes poetry, prose, 2-D and 3-D art, photography, sound, and video, and features handy tabs at the top of the page for each of these sections.
My personal interests led me straight to the photography group, which featured about thirty pieces from students of all class years. I was impressed by the pieces as a whole! A photograph by Lindsay Keyes ’11 of balloons hovering in front of an urban cityscape instantly drew my attention, as did a series of ink landscape drawings by Brittni Zotos ’12, who produced an incredible sense of detail in all of her pieces.
As I wandered through all of the website’s myriad features, I found it to be well organized and easy to use. The front page, designed by Obzetja, is, in my admittedly limited opinion, a really awesome and inviting design. My only problem with the site itself was that it didn’t list the materials used for any of the pieces. This was particularly an issue with the 2-D and 3-D art, as I had to guess what medium many of the pieces were in.
One of the unique aspects of SWERVE(D) as compared to other student publications is that it accepts any student work submitted. This is meant to alleviate the intimidation that many student artists might feel when submitting their work, which is necessarily a matter of personal expression.
“We realized that there are a lot of people who are creating really cool things and that those things should be shown, even if they don’t get accepted to one of the publications on campus,” Lupton said. “If you want people to see your work, there should be an outlet for that to be possible.”
SWERVE(D) is an important contribution to showcasing the artistic talent of the student community. Unlike other campus publications dedicated to the arts, which are only published a few times a semester, SWERVE(D) is constantly accessible and updated on a regular basis.
“The site is meant to be defined by its submissions and is dependent on student input in order to make it be what it’s going to be. We’re providing the site,” said Lupton. “But it’s the Wes community who is meant to create it.”