Weekly Club Spotlight: The Villanova Art Club


Courtesy of Nikki Amoachi

Clay figures sculpted by Art Club member freshmen Nikki Amoachi.

Kara Dempsey, Staff Writer

The Art Club set out this year with goals to reinvent how it provides an artistic outlet for students on campus. When the club president, senior Alexandra Penzi, took on her leadership role this year, she had aimed to make it a more inclusive club. One way this has taken place is through the scheduling of more events.

Starting last semester, the executive board began to schedule events weekly rather than monthly. Even with high COVID-19 numbers on campus this semester, Art Club continues to meet virtually by being as prepared for virtual meetings as it would be for in-person events.

“A lot of clubs cannot do anything virtually, but the fact that we can meet to work together and talk on Zoom is good,” club secretary sophomore Anthony Pasles said.

“The easiest way for us to have members meet, talk and feel included is through our Zoom meetings, but playing games on Zoom isn’t necessarily what art club is about,” Penzi said.

The executive board has made art supplies available for members to pick up out of the Student Involvement Office to use for certain projects.

“Having project materials available as something that people can pick up and then do on their own is nice even if we aren’t able to meet as a group in person and work together on it,” Penzi added.

As a further attempt to increase inclusiveness, the club has a goal to encourage involvement and creativity from members regardless of artistic ability.

Now more than ever, because of COVID-19, it is important to make sure students are staying on campus, but you also want to make sure that they are entertained,” Penzi said. “This is why it became even more of a goal to have the art club be a place for people to have an outlet for creative expression.”

Especially with the stress that comes with the pandemic, it is crucial for people to have a way to express themselves in a stress free environment.

In previous years, the Art Club held events with very limited space for attendance. Penzi believes that this perpetuated the idea that the club was a space only for students with great artistic ability. However, Penzi wants to make it clear that students can be involved in the club and attend events no matter what level of artistic skill they hold.

Initially, the small budget of Art Club restricted the ability to increase attendance at meetings because art supplies are quite expensive.

“I wanted to work on having more spots available for attendance, more frequent meetings and more fun activities but we did not have the money to host more meetings and be more inclusive,” Penzi said.

After several club members participated in Cat Cabs on 1842 Day during the fall to raise money, the club had the funds to do just that.

“Cat Cabs really saved us because without it, we would not have had the money to host all the meetings that we do,” Penzi said.

With more money to be spent on supplies, the executive board has been able to plan more creative and engaging activities. With a variety of art projects planned, members have been able to explore different interests and discover what they like doing in terms of art. The variety of activities and frequency of events is beneficial for students to destress.

“It is nice after stressful classes, to come and be creative,” Pasles said. “Doodling in class is not enough so it is important to have this creative outlet.”

Art Club events provide a place where students can express themselves and destress, which is particularly important since COVID-19 has changed so many aspects of student life.

“Art Club is for members to be able to try new things,” Penzi said. “It provides the means to express yourself and destress. It is a place to get your mind off other things and have fun.”