Untitled works to build permanent home for artists on campus

Domonique Tolliver, Life and Times Assistant

When studio arts senior Tiersha Laird was chosen as president of Untitled, she said she made it her mission to revamp the student organization and create more events that give exposure to artists in the Loyola community.

Laird said this year’s exhibition hits close to home because this is the last year that studio art majors are graduating. Laird and Michael Kennedy, studio arts senior and Untitled’s event coordinator, said that since the studio and fine arts program are being dissolved, Untitled is needed as a safe space now more than ever.

“They have been doing construction in our studios as we are in class,” Laird said. “It feels like they completely disregarded the arts even though the university prides itself on being liberal arts.”

Laird said as construction continues during her classes, it reminds her that Untitled represents a greater message to the university.

“This group is just another way for us to say ‘we are here and we matter.’ Even though we are graduating, the artists on campus are not going away. They’re a part of Untitled,” Laird said.

For the future, Sociology junior and Untitled member Storm Wells said they hope Untitled grows to have teaching events in collaboration with the design department in hopes of getting more students to add the arts to their degree plan.

Through these classes, Wells said Untitled hopes to attract students who will continue to represent the artistic community on Loyola’s campus.

Kennedy said he hopes that Untitled continues to get passed down to someone who is just as passionate and excited to take the club to the next level.

“We try to use the club as a tool to maybe reinstate some of the art department or show the administration that people are interested in the art department,” Kennedy said.

Laird said the organization also serves as a way to share art spaces and resources to ensure that every student can follow their artistic visions.

Kennedy said he enjoys that he and Laird are able to create the artistic events and projects they’ve wanted to see on campus.

“We wanted to garner excitement and love of visual arts on campus where people can come together and make art somewhere outside of their major,” Kennedy said.

Untitled members said having a safe space where they can develop their distinct artistic identities has been helpful as members were able to sell their work at Sneaux and Loyola’s flea markets, according to Kennedy and Laird.

“In the art department, our main course material is critiques between our peers. Untitled’s events allows us to display art just because we like it, with no boundaries, which makes it feel more personal and casual,”  said Nova Cuiellette, fine arts junior.

Wells said they love the creative encouragement and expanded network of friends they have gained through the organization.

“Untitled is a supportive community of creatives for people who don’t even know that they are artists yet. It’s a way for people new to art to explore and express themselves,” Wells said.

Untitled recently partnered with student-artist Ryan Nichols on an exhibition titled “African Art Experience” during Black History Month. The show displayed work from artists across the continent of Africa.

Cuiellette said that the group created QR codes to share the artists’ online portfolios and contact information to give the artists exposure. Kennedy said the exhibition featured live performances from student musicians alongside imported African wax prints that Untitled members upholstered to the gallery walls.

Laird also said Untitled hosts sticker making events where students can learn how to make stickers and either sell their stickers in the group’s sticker sales or keep them. The organization’s sticker sales are used as fundraisers for their events, Laird said.

Untitled has sold art to raise money for the Bulbancha Indeginous Collective in Louisiana to help support their language restoration and mutual aid efforts, Laird said.

Clusterfunk is Untitled’s annual exhibition that displays a range of artworks in different mediums such as graphic design, photography, paintings, sculpture work, and line drawings, Laird said. The Clusterfunk exhibition this year will be held on April 24.