Art through all mediums
By Maddy Santos
Poets, rappers, ukulele players, comedians, flute duets and even a saxophone quartet performed at The Green Scene Cafe this past Friday. Art Through All Mediums (ATAM) organized this event, called Art Attack. Anyone was welcome to show off their talents to the large audience that attended. Art Attack was free entertainment and, due to the great turnout, more of these events are expected in the future.
Jacob Dolence is the professor of the slam poetry, art and activism class (FS 121) which coincides with ATAM because every student in FS 121 is also a member of the club. According to Dolence, both the class and the club focus on helping the community through art. With this in mind, Dolence and his teaching assistants (TA) decided to bring Art Attack to NAU, where dollar raffles were sold to raise money for Flagstaff schools.
“We are donating the money to Kinsey Elementary and Killip elementary for their art programs,” Dolence explains.
While the performers at Art Attack presented inside, blank canvases were available outside on the The Green Scene balcony for anyone to paint on throughout the night. Every person who donated a dollar was entered into the raffle for the chance to win those paintings at the end of the night.
Sophomore psychology major Noah Charles was the winner, and he also happens to be a TA of FS 121. Being an advocate of art expression, Charles was ecstatic with the success of Art Attack.
“We are hoping that this becomes a monthly event,” Charles says. “And if that’s the case, and at this rate it will be, we will donate to different charities every month.”
Dolence and Charles hosted a pilot event like Art Attack last year, but the turnout was not the greatest, so this year they involved their students to help plan and get the word out. The improvement was drastic.
“Me and Jacob kind of helped start the fire, but then everyone else are the one’s fanning the flame,” Charles says.
One of the many students who performed slam poetry at the event is freshman nursing major Mya Nicole Hall, also a member of ATAM.
“I grew up in a town and school where art really wasn’t available,” Hall says. “Now, being able to really spread my wings and really get into the creative juices, it’s a really magical thing. Seeing the art and the things that come out of people’s souls in that class, it’s really inspiring.”
Hall enjoys poetry, writing, painting and drawing, and she is considering changing her major from nursing to literature with a minor in fine art.
“Even if I was super-duper sick and I wasn’t feeling great, I would still go to that class because it just makes me so happy and it’s something I love,” she explains. “This art class definitely changes lives; it’s something where you are taking your soul and putting it on something tangible.”
Another performer was Jack Notabartolo, a sophomore electrical engineering major. He is neither a class member or a club member, but that did not stop him from showcasing his rapping skills at the event.
“That rap took me three weeks to write,” Notabartolo admits. Slam poetry is his true passion, but he wanted to try something new. In one of his poems performed on Friday, Notabartolo got the crowd giggling when he took on the roll of the loud and cranky character, Plankton, from SpongeBob Squarepants.
“This is a good place to go because it’s not just poetry, it’s everyone getting up and doing what they enjoy doing,” Notabrtolo says. “There are literally no limits.”
Notabartolo says he will definitely be back to perform at the Art Attacks to come.
Spicing it up a little, sophomore psychology major Josie Harding stepped in front of the crowd and taught the audience how to do yoga breathing techniques. Harding is the other TA for FS 121 and she used yoga to calm the nerves of the performers.
“The focus is on awakening creativity and getting people to see their true potential,” she says. For Harding, being in ATAM has opened her eyes to the possibilities of art. “I am getting more than I bargained for that’s for sure.”
With ATAM planning to bring Art Attack to NAU once a month, the opportunities for people to showcase their artistic talents will be practically endless.
“The energy that everyone brings is amazing,” Charles says. “It’s like revitalizing the soul.”
For those interested in joining the ATAM club, contact Noah Charles at firstname.lastname@example.org.