As a new art department class available to all students, Creative Guild interested me. This Thursday afternoon class integrates former clubs and classes into a collective of imaginative individuals. I had the opportunity to speak with Emily Lindskoog, Creative Guild professor, and Jeanette Habash, a third year student at North Park and member of Creative Guild.
Lyndsie Cox What is Creative Guild?
Emily Lindskoog Creative Guild is a class that Tim Lowly, a professor in the art department, first proposed the idea of. He wanted a place for students to meet that was outside of a conventional classroom. Lowly wanted to create something that was much like the ensemble in the music department and encompass all of what the art department had to offer. The most exciting part of Creative Guild is having a structured arena to get students out into the art world and bring the art world to campus.
Jeanette Habash It’s building a community and focus on collaborating on projects or things on campus that can enhance the art department.
EL Creative Guild is a think tank not only for the art department and student body but also for the campus as a whole, and as this class gets more and more established and our ambitions grow, it becomes a think tank for the community and beyond.
LC Can anybody join Creative Guild?
EL The class is in its early stages but it will eventually become a requirement for incoming freshman art majors. Right now we have 14 students. As this class expands, ultimately, it will be required that all art majors take three semesters of Creative Guild. Anyone that is a creative thinker is welcome to join!
LC How will Creative Guild impact student life at North Park?
JH I think it brings more awareness to what the art department does and encourages interaction between the art department and other parts of campus. Creative Guild gives the art department a chance to be more appreciated instead of so low profile.
EL This is the think tank element of it. Students have more of a forum to voice issues that they see, problems they see, or frustrations that they have. Like how not everybody knows that art is happening in Wilson Hall and how students don’t know that they can come in and explore the art. We really want to work on bringing awareness to the art department on campus. We are working on creating an exhibition space in every building.
LC How would you use Creative Guild in Chicago?
JH We have to meet certain requirements of seeing things in Chicago. There are so many opportunities to see an artist talk or gallery show. There’s always something going on to learn more about the art world.
EL We definitely try to get out into the city or bring artists from the city to North Park. We are trying to get two visiting artists to give a lecture at North Park. So far we’ve had one which was Catherine Prescott. We want to have at least one working artist studio visit. This will give our students a better idea of what it’s like to work in art after school.
LC What is the end goal for Creative Guild?
JH I think it is to have a consistent group of students that are still being involved in the arts and think creatively.
EL Creative Guild is project based. We’d love to create more exhibition space and get people curious about art. We have a collaboration with the chemistry department to strengthen the recycling on campus. Beyond events on at North Park there are several projects each semester that we are trying to tackle.
LC What makes Creative Guild different than an art club?
JH We are tackling more serious things on campus.
EL Structure. When the art club existed as a weekly meeting the population of membership was not consistent and hard to count on a certain number of people to participate every week. Now Creative Guild is managing the art club as an event series. When we have an artist or gallery walks we extend that to the art club as well.
LC Are there any required texts?
EL There is no formal textbook but if we do community service, let’s say, draw portraits of people with Alzheimer's, we might do some research and do some readings on Alzheimer's beforehand.
JH We look at Facebook pages for art articles or for stuff going on we look at Hyperallergic, which is an art blog.
EL Facebook has been a really great asset for this class! We started a Facebook group for the Creative Guild through the North Park Facebook group. It’s a great way for us all see events happening and post them to the page or talk about an article that someone read.
LC How do you access the Facebook?
EL Anyone is welcome to join! First join the North Park group and it’s in that subgroup. Art club is one of the subgroups so everyone should like and join art club to get notified of events.
LC What else would you like to say to students that are thinking about joining Creative Guild?
EL Everyone can perceive on one level or another and everyone has potential to affect their community. I think Creative Guild can function really well to make the art community more accessible both on and off campus. What I hope to see in Creative Guild is a continued gathering of good thinkers, critical thinker, and people who are eager to engage in projects and activities and tackle current activities that they see. For art students and creative students it can make the outside world seem less intimidating, more accessible and more doable.