My favorite event that Elan held within the community that I was able to participate in was the Yellow House gallery last spring. I was assigned the role to be the visual art manager. This required helping pick art that had already been published in the book and then going to find permission to display the art before hunting down the physical copies of the pieces. Though the art procurement process was one of the most tedious aspects of the entire gallery, I had a lot of fun in the process. Seeing the gallery come to life as result of my peers and I’s decisions on specific pieces was incredibly gratifying. Each room had its own theme and, all together, it created a culmination of what it means to be find oneself as a young person and as a young artist. It included art not only from Douglas Anderson, but from the Savannah Art Academy in Georgia as well. It took us about five months to complete it all, but it was definitely worth all the effort through the numerous setbacks and unnerving deadlines.
One of my fondest memories of the event was sitting outside with some of the younger kids and making art with them. It was great seeing the artistic youth of the community and feeling as if the gallery was inspiring them to continue on their route to becoming a skilled artist in their near future. A lot of families attended the event, and there was not a single person who did not look entirely engaged with every piece of art and writing on the walls. Our work had paid off tenfold. As a staff member, I began to fully understand the importance of my role in Elan, as half the book is visual art and there are only two editors every year to manage it all to be cultivated into a colorful and lively edition. Art and writing grant viewers two unique ways to feel an emotional tug, and that tug is what the entirety of the Elan magazine strives for. Art, since the beginning of its existence, has been made specifically to tell stories and create strengthened bonds within all walks of mankind. Art tells stories in a way that allows colors, shapes, and strokes to become their own undefinable words.
Realizing the importance of art has allowed me to become more determined to pursue the arts as my future profession. Though I am a creative writer at Douglas Anderson, I have a passion for drawing that has only grown exponentially with my role in Elan. I have made it a personal goal of mine to have my art displayed in a gallery and be able to see someone react to it with the same emotion I watched people react to the student created pieces of art in the Yellow House gallery. The gallery only proved yet again how important art is to every aspect of life and, more importantly, the complex expression of it.
– Kathryn Wallis, Senior Art Editor