Lee's Art Club gains popularity, launches new website
Quietly but effectively, Lee University’s Art Club has been growing in both members and popularity around the Cleveland community.
Since the year 2000, Lee’s art club has been an important part of the university’s academic and extracurricular makeup.
In fact, the art club began long before the Lee had an art major and offered a few classes in a little house on the outskirts of campus.
“The original goal was to promote the visual arts on Lee’s campus and to bring together students who loved making art,” said newly-tenured art professor, Mary Mathias-Dickerson. “They would host art workshops—stained glass, watercolor, etc., and do art projects together for fun and enrichment.”
Although an art major has been added to Lee since Professor John Simmons and former student, Kylie Ann Machachek, pioneered the start of the art club, the club has not lost its positive identity.
“Many art majors tend toward introversion,” said Mathias-Dickerson. “So having these opportunities to come together to learn and work on meaningful projects is a good way for people to get to know each other.”
Lee’s art club offers many ways for its members to form lasting relationships: a monthly gathering including food, trips to museums and galleries and putting on art exhibitions. But perhaps most importantly, the club comes together to serve the community.
“The hands-on learning that occurs through serving the community outside of the classroom matters because it engages the intellect and the emotion—the whole person, and it connects with real life,” said Mathias-Dickerson.
Even though Lee’s art club is gaining in popularity by word of mouth, the club has also added a new website to its arsenal. The website was created by Reagan Weiss, the current president of the art club.
The main goal of the new website is to give all students interested in art a central place to go to find all upcoming projects, events, trips, etc.
Both Mathias-Dickerson and Weiss believe that the website will be an essential part to the club once more students learn and utilize the tool.
Overall, Lee’s art club has continued to make great strides by developing its members as artists and benefitting the community while also staying current with the addition of the new website.
Most importantly, though, the members of the art club grow both inside and outside of the classroom.
“I often see an increase in class engagement, more motivation to pursue excellence in art, a growing sense of purpose, confidence, and a stronger sense of the Lee art community in the students,” said Mathias-Dickerson.