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Haxus: Interactive Art at Post

By Peter Barell
Arts and Entertainment Editor

The Art and Art History club held an interactive event called Haxus on Wednesday, April 16 during common hour. Situating themselves on the Great Lawn in front of Hillwood Commons, participants were able to join together in creating an art piece as a group, while enjoying free pizza. 

Screen Shot 2014-04-23 at 07.35.45The idea for Haxus was first proposed by President and sophomore Art History major, Sam Bonilla. “She thought it would be cool if we did an event that incorporated making art through student participation,” said Vice President Stacie Zucker, a sophomore Digital Arts and Design major. Assorted paints were available, and instruction cards were distributed to attendees with ways to contribute to the piece, such as to paint a squiggle, or to do their own free interpretation. During the event, the wind threw several slices of pizza to the ground, which was promptly added to this artwork, in addition to parts of the pizza box, and even the instruction cards themselves. In the end, the piece had to be thrown out, but in the spirit of this spontaneous form of art, that was okay with the club.

Some members of the club, including Zucker, studied with their adviser Aileen Wang in her Contemporary Art Class, learning about performance arts like Fluxus Concerts and Happenings. The class decided to learn by doing, and the event was co-coordinated by Professor Wang and the club. “We decided to combine Happenings and Fluxus and made a hybrid, Haxus,” Zucker explained.

“[Haxus] is a performance art event that combines two types of performance art that were very popular in the 1960s,” said Wang. The events known as Happenings were formulated by Allan Kaprow in 1957, and involved participants doing certain actions according to index cards similar to those used at the Post event. The first gallery showing of one of these performances was at the Reuban Gallery in New York in 1959. Fluxus concerts were popularized by people such as Yoko Ono and George Brecht in the mid 1960s. These were not traditional concerts or performances; Brecht’s solo for Violin performance involved him wiping down his violin with cleaning liquid, while Ono’s invited participants cut off pieces of her clothing.

The Art and Art History club, which is open to all students, meets on Wednesdays in Humanities 108 during common hour. They reside
as a community to foster creativity and art appreciation. “Even if you’re not a talented artist, it doesn’t matter. You don’t have to be the best, just as long as you have an interest in art,” said Zucker. “This was proven
by our Haxus [event] because we had tons of non-artists at this school participating and having a blast.”

“We haven’t had any events like Haxus before, but I’m hoping that interactive events like this catch on for the future of the club,” said Jill Coklan, a senior Art History major. Coklan first became involved with the club as a cofounder, and is now a secretary. “The [Art and Art History] club provides a network for like-minded people and those interested in art to discuss, share, and learn about topics involving art history and the current art world,” she added.

The club will be holding an end of the year social event on Thursday, April 24, in Humanities Room 108 during common hour. All are welcome. Refreshments will be served and students are encouraged to bring a piece of artwork for viewing. 

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