An end of the school year note from your Arts Editor

Drip, drip, drip… 

Striking the match and drip dropping

it in the sink on a bad day.

Worse day.

Creaky, cracky faucet shreeks

as the knobs are turned––

Full speed ahead! 

All the water released, falling to its

death far below on the drainless

porcelain bowl.

Splash! Full speed ahead!

I am an overflowing sink.

What happens when waterfalls

lose their spectacle?

Hey, it’s your friendly neighborhood Arts Editor, Katy! 

In September of this academic year, I published an article called “Checkup from an artist to an artist,” musing on and discussing the day to day difficulties in being an artist. Despite whatever could’ve been taken away from that article, we all had a long year ahead of us. For some, it was longer than I could’ve prophesied in September.

I began that article the same way I started this one: with that small poem I wrote about being an overflowing sink. If I were to go back and fine tune it, I’m sure it would be a bit of a different poem. But I don’t want to change it. I want to tie a bow on our school year with the same sentiments, because feeling like an overflowing sink sometimes is pretty inevitable. 

Over last March’s six month quarantine, I had such a productive and prolific output of art. It was, like the time period, unprecedented and unexpected. Looking at the summer I have ahead of me, I feel this pressure to be equally as,, if not more, productive than I was the summer before. When I returned to Hope College in August, I made the goal to take my creative project from break ’20 and literally create the sequel to all of that in summer ’21.

It’s not easy. Yes, I said this in September and yes, it still stands. 

As artists, it’s almost customary to view the hard work we do for our art as easy. Extra. A stress reliever. A hobby. I can’t tell you how many visual art friends underprice their commissions, in some cases just outright giving their art away for free. 

Art, like any other kind of work, can be tiring, hard and require a lot of motivation. Artists, I know you understand this. But I provide us with the reminder so we don’t continue to devalue or undermine the struggle that is often packaged with being an artist. 

That’s enough realism for both of us, I think. (Please, I know my Hope College audience.) Because despite the hardships of artmaking and art loving, it’s worth it. There’s a magical and intrinsic feeling that it gives the artist that oftentimes can’t be found in quite the same way anywhere else. That’s why we do it. It’s fulfilling. It’s worth it. 

Over this year, so much student artwork was created. On the theatre side of things, student actors and techies worked on Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night,” Larissa Fasthorse’s “The Thanksgiving Play,” Dominique Morisseau’s “Detroit ’67,” and Adam Gwon’s “Ordinary Days.” Two independent student theatre projects were completed: Madison Meeron’s (’21) “Revontulet” and Alexandra Paxton’s (’21) “The Consequences of a Miracle.” 

Student musicians have done so many things! From virtual concerts every month to jam sessions outside of the Jack Miller building, musicians on campus are doing things. Wystock hosted multiple bands. The Hope College legend band “Pet Shop” performed at the Hope College TedX event in April.

Student visual artwork has been in exhibits in Hope’s own De Pree Art Center, as well as the 2020 senior artwork display in the Kruizenga Art Museum now. This is not to mention all of the independent and in-class artwork made throughout each month. Dance students performed in this year’s “Dance 47” and student dance showcases, along with what H2 and StrikeTime Dance Theatres were doing aside from that. 

Creative writing students had their work published in this year’s two editions of OPUS, Hope’s literary magazine. Jolie Smith (’20) won The Hope College Academy of American Poets (AAP) Prize with her poem “Your Friend Calls it Cotard Delusion, Your Therapist Says ‘Stop Diagnosing Yourself ’ (in other words) the Flame Goes Out Again and Again.” Zachary Dankert (’21) received an honorable mention for his poem, “Mumbai Breaks Over Michigan.” Smith also won the Lotz Prize for Creative Writing. 

Look at all the incredible things you’ve accomplished!

This summer, whatever art you make or don’t make, that’s okay. I’m sure any artmaking, aside from those of you with internships and jobs in your chosen artistic fields, will be coming out of any extra time you have. That’s okay. If you’re a type A artist, you’ll schedule the time. You’ll finish the painting. If you’re a type B artist, art will come when it comes. You’ll also finish that painting. 

Congratulations on making it through another school year! It wasn’t the easiest one, but you did it, and that’s something to be proud of. We are all sad to see our senior artists go, but we of course cannot wait to see all the beautiful things they’re going to create. I leave you with the same closer I did in September: Remember it’s okay to feel like an overflowing sink sometimes, but don’t forget that you can always pull yourself back up. You got this! Now go out there and make something. Have a wonderful summer, Hope College artists.

Katy Smith (‘23) is a communications major, theatre and writing minor at Hope. Her passions lie in the arts, specifically playwriting, poetry, performing, and any music that makes you feel wanderlust. She is so honored to be the Anchor’s Arts Editor! She strives to give Hope’s wonderful arts programs the platform they deserve.

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