By Justin Kresse
Adelphi’s campus came alive for the fall arts festival on Oct. 11 for a yearly event that brings together the entire campus and many different departments to celebrate all types of art. The event was started in 2013 as the Ephemeral exhibition by Professor Carson Fox of the Art Department. Since then, it has expanded exponentially, becoming the Fall Arts Festival in 2019.
This year the event was planned by co-coordinators Kellyann Monaghan (chair of the Art Department) and Maggie Lally (associate dean of faculty and programs in the college of arts and sciences), who said they started planning in the spring in order to accommodate such a large amount of collaboration between so many different groups and five different university academic departments.
When you stepped foot on campus at the 2023 event, the first thing you were likely to notice was everyone making chalk drawings on all the sidewalks and walkways around the Garden City campus. This was all part of the Chalk-Up event organized by the Art Department, where any group, organization or class could sign up to borrow chalk from a stand outside the University Center and make drawings or write messages on the sidewalk. Lally said at least 60 groups or organizations were involved with Chalk-Up, not including anyone who joined in the fun on the day of.
Classes like Jen Maloney’s painting in photo class and David Pierce’s senior graphic design class were outside making beautiful drawings, along with members of Greek life, and even clubs – including The Delphian – got in on the fun.
Monaghan said this year was the biggest ever in terms of participation with Chalk-Up. The event returned in person in 2021 after Covid and has increased in numbers ever since.
This year’s Fall Arts Festival had quite a few new events too. One took place the day before on Tuesday. There was a kickoff event where John Mcdermott, associate professor of theater, and guest artist Trebbe Johnson worked with Artivism and the Criminal Justice Club to create a mandala of found objects, creating art out of found discarded items.
The Music and English Departments also joined forces on Wednesday for a poetry reading and music performance in Nexus where music students and alumni performed alongside creative writing students who read their poems aloud. Sidney Boquiren of the Music Department and Maya Marshall and Jan-Henry Gray of the English Department worked together to make this event a success.
There was also an outdoor sculpture exhibition outside Blodgett Hall curated by Professors Samantha Dominik and Christopher Saucedo of the Art Department, showcasing the amazing sculptural work of students from Dominik’s class.
Especially exciting this year was the new event hosted by Jaizi Abedania (adjunct professor in the Art Department) and Marlee Koenigsberg (theater alumni) that gave this year’s festival its theme: “healing through the arts.” The event took place in the rose garden by Swirbul and involved games and exercises based on the applied theater techniques of Augosto Boal (a politician in Rio who developed legislative theater to address problems in his community). Abedania said the goal was to help students appreciate the different learning styles of every student in our diverse community.
Lally mentioned several other Adelphi community members who had been instrumental to the planning and execution of events: Argie Angelerakis (professor in criminal justice), Stephanie Lake (program director for criminal justice) and Carolina Cambronero ‘09 (an art major who started artivism about three years ago when she was in graduate school).
At the end of the day, there was a very happy atmosphere on campus. Everywhere you looked, beautiful chalk drawings could be seen. There had been such a variety of different and exciting events where everyone could embrace their artistic expression and open up more.
Lally said, “It’s great to see how students are not just out but they’re on campus and involved and invested, so that’s exciting.”
The Fall Arts Festival really is a great way to bring the entire campus together, and its success means next year is sure to be even better.