Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Creating bridges with art: Campus Art Guild promotes community outreach

Wednesday, April 14, 2021
“The Eyes of the Fay” is a portrait created by Kolbe Shanks. Shanks said this piece shows beauty, detritus, sadness and vulnerability. The piece is on display at the Crisp Museum until May 10.
Photo submitted by Kolbe Shanks

The Art Guild at Southeast Missouri State University is a student-run organization dedicated to promoting art and art-making, bridging divides, and creating an inclusive space for all artists.

The student officers run the meetings and create semester-by-semester events such as installing artwork in a gallery space, creating flyers and promoting events for judging, and choosing artwork for the exhibit.

Joshua Newth, faculty advisor for the Art Guild, said the organization tries to promote exhibiting art by having one or two Art Guild-sponsored exhibitions around campus or the Cape Girardeau area every semester.

“We try to help students understand all the aspects of exhibiting your art, everything from coming up with a title to learning how to price your art, how to mat it, frame it, make it look as professional as possible, and then also the importance of hanging your art,” Newth said.

The Art Guild holds a chili cookoff at Catapult Creative House in the gallery space as a yearly fundraiser. The Art Guild partners with the Department of Art and Design’s Clay Club to create and sell ceramic bowls for the fundraiser. The Clay Club receives 80% of the proceeds, and 20% goes to the Art Guild to fund events. The guild has traveled to Chicago and New York, where members explore museums and view art around the city.

Sophomore art major Madison Mesiti is the treasurer of the Art Guild. Mesiti said her favorite part of the Art Guild is planning big events, working on them and having people share each other’s experiences through art.

Senior vice president Kolbe Shanks said his favorite part about the Art Guild is the community outreach.

“Any kind of program that involves the community, I love being a part of,” Shanks said. “Being able to do something that I thoroughly enjoy doing, which is art, and involves community outreach. It’s like a joining of hands.”

Mesiti and Shanks both have fibrous pieces on display at Catapult Creative House.

Art Guild meetings are currently held via Zoom every month. Membership dues are $10 per year, and the money goes to funding for events.

Starting next semester, meetings will be held monthly in the basement of the River Campus in the Cultural Arts Center.

For additional information, contact