ArtFest: An Explosion of Creativity

Magical scene with characters celebrating ArtFest in the Student Center.
Jared Libby

Art can transport us to extraordinary worlds through styles such as poetry, calligraphy, photography, film, dance, theatre, and music, just to name a few. The vibrancy of this medium is exponential, and by appreciating an artist's work, we interpret it for ourselves. As important as the art itself is the true collaboration between TMCC students, faculty, and staff. From April 12–21, ArtFest 2023 will bring all these forms of art to the forefront of our community! Interacting with the brilliant minds who constructed the magnificent pieces laid out before your eyes will suddenly become a reality.

Speaking Through Color and Shapes

There’s no shortage of talent roaming our halls on a regular basis, and ArtFest is curated so that TMCC artists can shine bright! Something as simple as a leaf of literature, a doodle, or even a miniature sculpture can bring about an emotional response from those willing to open their hearts to someone else's vision.

Natalie Russell, Dean of Liberal Arts, pitched this idea to her team a while back, and they’ve been running with it ever since.

“One of the main reasons we wanted to have this event was to get students more involved in creating an arts community here on campus. It’s important to reconnect after the isolation we experienced during COVID-19, even though it was years ago. I think it helps them feel like they're a part of TMCC, choosing to be here and becoming more invested in the programs they’ve decided to study,” Russell said.

Hosted by the Liberal Arts Division, a blitz of imagination is only one of the many gifts ArtFest has in store for you. This will be a great time to highlight all of our Visual and Performing Arts programs, encouraging you to inquire about the courses and career choices available. We’re still a higher education institution, after all! Through community involvement and peer interactions, you’ll be engaged in an inclusive, academic event.

“Professors throughout the College have students put their art on display, engage in unique theatre performances, and submit their written work for publication. They help them understand all of the other skills that artists need to have, such as entrepreneurial drive when promoting themselves, or how to price their pieces to sell. Various ArtFest events will give students another opportunity to incorporate those professional abilities alongside the craft of what they’re studying,” Russell said.

One student in particular was able to showcase his artistic talent and professional skills for ArtFest. Cristobal Gonzalez de la Torre, a TMCC Graphic and Visual Arts student, created the magical scene and characters featured on ArtFest posters and stickers.

An element of ArtFest’s success rests on elevating more sustainable infrastructure, too. As our Year of Sustainability rumbles on, we should feel compelled to honor our earth not just on special occasions, but every day of our lives. Equity and ecological stewardship are the sword and shield of progress, but the fight will never be finished.

Our planet keeps spinning, an endless act of strength in our tiny web of the cosmos. How do we match that intensity for all living things? How can we signify our love for it? These are the long-term issues that the Year of Sustainability hopes to help us solve. Discussions are the gateway to change, and with many to be had at ArtFest, words will be especially powerful.

“I’ve always been an admirer of art in all its many forms. During the pandemic, especially with music, I came to realize how nurturing it can be. How it feeds our souls, speaks to who we are and what we value. Art, in all styles, really does that. It can make us think differently about what we deem important. Changing what our initial impressions of something could be, and unexpectedly connecting with it,” Russell said.

She continued on about the bewitching sway art can have on our souls.

“The appreciation of beauty in all its shapes. Recognition of people's talent, which can just blow my mind. Art, in so many ways, gets us to the core of who we are as humans; all of those emotions, experiences, shared trauma and joy—the influences that help us understand our humanity with one another.”

Earth Is What We All Have in Common

ArtFest also leads into TMCC’s Earth Day celebration on April 20!

Sponsored by the TMCC Sustainability Champions and Learning Commons committees, this global celebration embraced by billions is sure to cast an aura of goodwill. Join us as we canvas all the positive, sustainable practices and renewable energy efforts flourishing within our neck of the woods. We’ll have a ribbon cutting at our certified Bee Campus USA pollinator gardens and recount well-grounded research projects that have made favorable impacts on our atmosphere.

What’s more, we’re calling on faculty and staff to carpool and students to ride their bikes (if possible) or catch one of Washoe County’s Regional Transport Commission (RTC) buses. Greenhouse gas emissions are a serious threat to our environment, and what better way to show your support for our home than by limiting your carbon footprint as much as you can!

While you’re present, don’t forget to sign up to participate in a fabulous prize giveaway! Goodies include a three-credit class for TMCC (2.0 GPA required, and must be enrolled in six credits for Fall Semester), a Patagonia backpack as well as caps, and much more! You can rack up those tickets in a few ways:

  • Biking, carpooling, or using RTC.
  • Planting a native pollinator seedling at our Bee Campus USA terrace.
  • Visiting solar power reserves on campus; including electric vehicle charging, bike repair, and water stations, plus Wizard’s Warehouse.

Thanks to the profound dedication our TMCC community has as caretakers of planet Earth, ArtFest and Earth Day will be a fusion of the innovation inherent in all of us when we work together. Mark your calendars! It’ll be our hands that make a difference.

“I’d love to extend my gratitude to all of the team members who took my crazy idea and ran with it. I presented this sort of vague idea to my Liberal Arts Division, but they became very excited and inspired, carrying out tremendous work in making ArtFest a reality. I want to give a lot of credit and kudos to the faculty and staff, and the administrative assistants who were involved in tons of backstage projects. We’re excited to partner with the Earth Day sustainability crew, and we’re thrilled to honor all things art with our TMCC community,” Russell said.

For more information, please visit the ArtFest 2023 and Earth Day websites.