Calm, soothing music plays as an artist reads their poem to an audience of fellow Seattle Pacific University students, and in response, students begin to snap in appreciation of the artists work.
Last Friday, Jan. 25, SPU’s literary art magazine, Lingua, held their Winter Journal Release Party to celebrate the launch of their winter journal filled with student artist’s poems, paintings, photos and other media.
“I want the people who have work in the journal to feel celebrated and appreciated,” Lingua Editor Geneva Lehnert said.
To celebrate the release of the journal, Lingua invited many artists to read their poems and sing to demonstrate their art.
Camilo Castro went on stage and read his poems “Fire” and “Blue,” which were included in the journal.
Another poet, Ryan Hoover, read his poem “Bold Boy” and reflected on how he was motivated to write his poem after watching the Netflix movie “The Kindergarten Teacher.”
In the movie, a teacher has a student named Jimmy, who read poems he had written one day in class. The teacher then decides to write them down and mentor him.
When Jimmy performs in front of a crowd of poetry critics and experienced poets he is met by only blank, curious stares.
It is for this reason Hoover decided to write a poem about what he thought the boy was experiencing at this moment.
Brooke Spencer Vigil also read one of her poems, which can be found in the Lingua Winter Journal.
Vigil wrote the poem as an attempt to reinstate life into a sonnet, a traditional format of poetry used by writers like Shakespeare to illustrate someone’s love for another person.
For some artists who stepped on the stage, their works were a way to express their emotions.
Kate Bischoff walked on stage and read her poems “Tell Me Everything” and “Game of Chess.”
Bischoff said she felt it was important to have a way to express herself.
“I think it’s a lot of needing to have an emotional outlet and then being able to spill all my thoughts onto a piece of paper and take the best bits and pieces of all of them to create something that is cohesive and people might be able to relate to,” Bischoff said.
At the event, two singers went on stage to sing songs they wrote about experiences in their life.
Trent Cowden walked on to the stage and began to strum his guitar. His song reflects on a past event when he was a child and fell into a river, but was rescued by a family friend.
Later in the event, Lingua announced that all scheduled acts were over and that now the mic would be open to anyone who wanted to perform.
Claire Conway walked onto the stage with guitar in hand and performed a song she wrote, as one last performance for a night full of artistic expression.
While some read and sang their works, many other artists who did visual pieces attended to discuss their works.
One of these students was Taylor Younker, a second-year at SPU.
“I enjoy being creative and showing different ideas to inspire other people in the world,” Younker stated.
For the journal, she drew her original character “Creepy Girl,” a character with bright colors that illustrate Younker’s philosophy of her art.
“My goal in life is to spread colorful inspiration to other people,” Younker said.
Another artist at the event was Dominic Renz, a studio art major at SPU.
In the journal, he submitted two photos titled “Damp Earth” and “Golden Moments.” The first featured on a closeup of mushrooms and the other on wild grass.
“I am really attracted to the small things in nature that we look past,” Renz stated.
Renz also submitted a painting titled “Cold,” depicting various shades of blue forming a variety of shapes including a dark blue circle and multiple figures.
“With the painting, I was mostly working pretty abstractly with intention towards the emotions I was trying to portray,” Renz said.
Renz also submitted a collage called “Together,” featuring clippings from Time magazine and other publications that form a man’s face.
“With the collage, I was utilizing the idea of sampling in music where you borrow different musical elements. I was doing the same things with photographs,” Renz said.
All of these artists have a commonality. They all have found a way to express themselves through the medium of their choice whether poems, paintings, music or whatever they can think of.
For Lingua, the organization exists to allow these creative students to have an outlet to showcase their work to the SPU community through their quarterly journals and events.
“It is really empowering for a young creative person to see their work in print. That was really big for me, the first time I saw my work in Lingua,” Lehnert said.
Lingua will hold another event in the spring quarter to celebrate their spring journal.