There is a widely accepted generalization here at Mines that the majority of its students and faculty are science nerds and geeks, and mostly, this statement is true. But there are a lot more opportunities for self-expression to be offered at Mines if one looks diligently enough. Joining the ranks of the 2011-2012 school year organizations is a new club, Photography and Sketching, which hopes to take a creative break from the math books.
“There is an art group on campus,” says Grant Klafehn, President of the Photography and Sketching club, “but they don’t meet as often as I’d like. I needed a group that met often enough to practice my skills.” The club’s focus lies on the principle that anyone is welcome, regardless of skill level, to do just as he suggests, which is to practice and improve. “As long as you are putting forth an effort, that is all that is needed,” assures Klafehn, but he also acknowledges the emphasis on the communal environment; “I want others to be there to cheer each other on and help each other out. It is a big community of support.”
Likewise, there are a lot of people who feel as Klafehn does – those who seek a creative outlet to express their artistic side. Even a very focused community like Mines needs other venues of exploration and interest. “I would like to see people find more opportunities with their ‘wholeness’ and their artistic side since we do not have a focus on arts [at Mines],” says Shira Richman, advisor of the club and teaching assistant professor of LAIS. “Including art activities, such as photography or sketching, reminds people that we do have arts on campus.”
While the club is still processing the fine details, the likely times for the meetings will be on Saturdays or Sundays around 1:00 PM. The club is open to both the shy and the social alike, whether one prefers to meditate on their artwork solo or share it widely.
Klafehn hopes to incorporate formal or informal lessons to teach people to become better photographers and more holistic sketching based artists. He will teach these topics based upon the needs of the group. Klafehn, for example, has a particular passion to employ people as his subject matter. “I love people – half the reason that I made this group is because I love people.”