Transformative and Tranquil

One of my favorite art pieces from the Fall 2017 edition of Elan is “Tranquility” by Kaylin Hillman. Coincidentally, it happens to be the first piece of the art in the book, which I think was a great choice. This piece is generally a very visually appealing one, especially with the blend of colors, but I think it represents much more than that as well. This piece is important to the current events going on throughout the world, all rooted to the connection of humans. There are so many human rights movements and huge decisions being made in the community right now that I think this was a perfect piece to be accepted into this issue.

All of the artwork in our current issue is astounding, but I connected to “Tranquility” immediately, which I think is a huge part of the piece and its message, the universality. The first thing I noticed was the colors, and how beautifully they blend together. The pastel colors stand out against the dark background and caught my eye. After that, I took in the message of the piece and the way the people have come together as one, no matter how different they are. Because this book deals with posing a lot of questions about humanity and ourselves, this was the perfect piece to open with because it visually offers the ideas that are laced throughout the issue.

Another reason I really liked this piece is because it literally brought a sense of calm and tranquility over me. A part of this is definitely because of how aesthetically pleasing it is, but another part was also because it made me think about my own life and the actions I take. Instead of being hateful or avoiding problems that don’t pertain to me, it’s important to speak up and act. As shown in the piece, we can come together peacefully and create beauty. The color of the two-people’s skin may be different, but the shades laced throughout their skin are the same, their shape and bodies are both the same and living. They both exist and in peace. Even if I don’t speak up act, it’s still important to connect with others and be there for people, because we’re all human and need someone from time to time.

This piece is a great representation of Elan. Not only does it represent the work and vast spectrum of what is published, it also shows the people who create the work published. Elan publishes work from all over the world, who create art and writing that differ in many ways. This piece shows a bit into the diversity and range of people published throughout the years of Elan, whether that be the artists themselves or the people found in the artwork. I think this piece is a beautiful mixture of Elan’s current mission and goal as a publication, and what it strives to grow to be.

Kinley Dozier, Senior Managing Editor

Writing as My Definition of Community

PICTURE AlexisI never fully understood the meaning of community until I came to Douglas Anderson to study creative writing. Previously, I’d attended an arts middle school for theater, where I found life-long friends and transformed from a shy writer churning out pages and pages of fiction in her free time to a boisterous, enthusiastic performer carrying polished monologues under her belt. I auditioned for both theater and creative writing for Douglas Anderson—the first only to see if I’d get in, and the second with the actual desperate hope of getting in. After being accepted for both, I was forced to make an important decision I’d already subconsciously made years before. Because writing holds much more significance to my personal growth and future, I chose writing.

In middle school, my theater community was my first real impression of how it feels to belong somewhere. Here, it’s different. Writing had always been just a side hobby—an art I practiced after everything else that not many people knew was as important to me as it was. But being around writers every day, given the same assignments and struggling through similar issues as I am, who are just as passionate about writing as I am, not only deepened my own passion for writing, but gave me a deeper sense of belonging that I’d never experienced before.

I find my Junior Poetry class to be the most unifying. Learning tools such as sound in texture and meter in poetry and the collective excitement my class shares for these tools we’re introduced to that we can now utilize in our poetry, like keys for various locks that remained anonymous freshman and sophomore year, reminds me why I chose to further my study of this art. The community of the Creative Writing Department solidifies my passion for writing and serves as a foundation for exponential growth in my craft that I will carry under my belt for the rest of my life.

-Alexis Williams, Junior Editor-in-Chief