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Jackson Pollock Night encourages artistic appreciation and expression among students

ASU is hosting an art night that allows students to paint in the style of the famous abstract artist


"Students are invited to make Pollock's style of art their own in an event hosted by Barrett Student Services." Illustration published on Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2017.

Barrett Student Services at ASU is hosting a “Jackson Pollock Night” on Oct. 25, during which students can explore and emulate the style of the famed artist.

The event gives students the chance to learn more about Jackson Pollock and the abstract expressionist movement while pushing the limits of their own creativity through original paintings.

Pollock, a mid-20th century American painter, is known for his abstract “drip paintings,” which he made by flinging paint across his canvases.

Art studies sophomore Kaden Aldridge is the co-president of ASU’s Ascending Artists’ Association, and recognizes the weight of Pollock’s contributions to the art world.

“The work he did was really groundbreaking. His process, the way he worked and the things he presented were so hard to digest, especially in his time,” Aldridge said. “It’s interesting to learn about how (Pollock’s art) was actually done, because if you were to try to replicate his stuff, it’s actually a lot harder than it seems.”

Perfect mastery of Pollock’s art style is not the goal of the event, however. According to Aldridge, artistic expression in any skill level is worthwhile.

“No matter what field you're in, even if you do (art) as a hobby, it can translate into other work skills: thinking outside the box, building up and having a place to express creativity,” Aldridge said. “No matter what medium you use, or what technique you use, I think it’s good to have somewhere to manifest that unique personality within everybody.”

Marketing and supply chain management junior Kevin Ho, the student programmer for the event, chose Pollock as the focus of the evening because of his abstract and unregimented approach to art.

“(Pollock pioneered) a lot of really interesting ways to express creativity and your own thought, and I feel like painting is a very expressive thing in general. The best way to (express) that is to have no limits,” Ho said. “With this style of painting you really get to express your own thoughts and put your own twist onto each thing that you do.”

The opportunity for personal expression was Ho’s main motivation for putting on the event. He wanted students to creatively release constant energy and stress.

“You get to forget about school and all of these things that you're working on for a couple of hours, and (painting) really allows you to just relax and focus,” Ho said. “It’s really important, especially for students, to get a moment to take care of yourself and focus on yourself.”

This desire for self-care is common among students who participate in art, whether as a hobby or academic focus. Secondary education freshman Sara Scheller said she believes opportunities for artistic expression are a necessary escape from daily pressures.

“I use art as a way to de-stress myself from school. I’ve just always liked it as a creative hobby,” Scheller said. “I’ve taken art classes, but I find that the stuff that I just experiment with myself is the most rewarding.”

Like Ho, Scheller said that abstract painting allows for freedom from limitations, which contributes to the calming effect.

“It’s really important that people not think that there is a right way to do art,” she said. "It’s all about yourself. You don't have to think about what others are doing … It’s definitely an expression, and there’s no right or wrong way to do that.”

The Jackson Pollock Night will be held at Barrett, the Honors College at ASU in the Sage North Courtyard on Oct. 25th, from 6 to 8 p.m. Students can RSVP to reserve a canvas.

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