Finding Art in All the Open Spaces

Finding Art in All the Open Spaces

Have you ever wondered about the colorful strands of yarn decorating the pillars near the library? Or the threads spiraled around the handles of the Saisselin Art Building’s doors? I’ll let you in on a little secret: they’re all part of the mission behind the Skid Art Collectiv. Formed last year by Kathryn Gorson ‘20 and Jared Azud ’20, the club prefers their art installations with an element of mystery for an added artistic effect.

For the club, it isn’t about getting the recognition; instead, they simply want to come together and create art. Members of the Skid Art Collectiv view Skidmore’s campus as their canvas, where projects of all kinds can come to life. Gorson and Azud started the club out of a desire to see more inclusion in the art world, so they provided a space where students can work together on group projects.

“We started it because we didn’t see enough community art events going on,” explained Gorson. “All we wanted to do was work with other people and collaborate. We’re such a creative school with so many different mediums and so many artists, dancers and musicians. We just needed a platform for it.”

All photos provided by Kathryn Gorson

All photos provided by Kathryn Gorson

As for their motto? “Make Skidmore Weird Again,” according to Gorson. Such a statement embodies the club, which promotes student expression in any shape or form, without feeling the pressure of perfection. “[Skid Art Collectiv] is just having fun and creating things for the sake of being creative — expressing yourself and collaborating with other people,” said Gorson.

Lila Dittersdoff ‘20, a dedicated club member and fiber arts concentration major, explains how many students feel hesitant to create art because they think it has to be perfect. Yet, with Skid Art Collectiv, imperfections and quirks are praised and appreciated. “There isn’t a typical club meeting,” said Dittersdoff. Gorson added that the club “begins the meeting with a fun question, and then we have a different activity every time.”

These different activities turned into a wide range of projects. Last year, the group held a gallery to showcase everyone’s work, with all types of submissions encouraged: “There were no restrictions; we were just trying to promote art-making on campus and be less exclusive,” Gorson said. The club has also experimented with several different forms of expression—from spray paint and collages to on-campus installations and art sales. “I feel like there isn’t one type of art. Art is open to whatever people want to do with it, and bring to the table, which makes it fun,” Gorson said.

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Then, yarn-weaving came into play. According to Dittersdorf, the club “wanted to make the space look more creative. “[We] really like using profound spaces to do stuff — that was more of our goal.”

When asked about upcoming plans, Gorson voiced out ideas that all emphasized Skid Art Collectiv’s message of creating art for the purpose of looking at the world through artistic lenses and taking risks when it comes to art. She has been brainstorming the possibility of more outdoor art galleries and ways to take advantage of the campus’ spaces: “There’s so many beautiful places on campus that can be used so many different ways.”

As for their future art projects, you will just have to keep a lookout in all the open spaces.


The Skid Art Collectiv meets Thursday nights at 7p.m. in the Sasselin lobby. If interested in having your work sold at the Student Artists’ Market next semester, please reach out to Skid Art Collectiv directly or by email: skid.art.collectiv@gmail.com.

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