Griffon Arts Alliance strives to represent school, help community

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Twenty-eight colorful blue, red and yellow ribbons hang snugly beside their champions behind the glass cases on the second floor of Remington. Last Thursday was opening night of the Griffon Arts Student Alliance Show which portrayed (and will still be up until March 1) various unique displays of art created by Missouri Western students.

Tony Redmond’s “Self Portrait-Reflexions” won first place in the Drawing category. Photo by Michelle Cordonnier

The Griffon Arts Alliance has been going strong now for three years (it was started in the 90s but has become more popular recently), has around 50 members on orgsync and 15 total active members. However, they are always welcoming new members.

The GAA is open to any type of art; ceramics, graphics, printing, photography, illustration, etc. According to senior publicity officer Ali Dalsing, students do not have to be art majors to join and have a good time.

“It’s really fun,” Dalsing said. “(Students) don’t have to be a really good artist to be able to do it.”

Yet the GAA isn’t just a club that gets together to create art.

“We have a lot of events, and we do a lot of philanthropy-type stuff, like we go to Riverbend,” Dalsing said.

Every Friday, members of the GAA go to the Riverbend Youth Authority Facility and teach juvenile offenders the basic art techniques.

“It’s a good way to get your name out there, not just for school, but in the community, too,” treasurer Joe Snapp said. “Doing projects around the community is pretty cool.”

Along with helping teenagers, the GAA also runs Murals for Minds. Murals for Minds allows members and anyone who wants to join to paint a certain area of a chosen low income school in the community.

“We help beautify (the school),” senior and president of GAA Teresa Rodewald said.

Rodewald, who is majoring in graphic design and minoring in psychology, said Mural for Minds was a “neat little exchange” and looks forward to it this upcoming semester.

The GAA will also be holding their Annual Pasta/Chili Bowl Fundraiser, which was started last year. According to Snapp, this event raised so much money for the GAA that it jump started plans for other events.

Members, students and faculty make ceramic bowls that people can buy and receive either pasta or chili for free.

Last year, ceramics professor David Harris made about 200 bowls for the event. This year, he said he would match the number of bowls the GAA makes, according to Dalsing.

“It was exciting seeing all the people interested in the bowls we made,” Snapp said.

These are just a few of the events and fundraisers the GAA holds, and there are many more to come. In fact, Dalsing said they are open to suggestions for new activities.

“Our fundraisers bring in a lot of money, so ideas that people come up with for events we are actually able to do them usually,” Dalsing said.

Overall, Rodewald puts a lot of time into the GAA and feels it gives students the opportunity to express themselves.

“With the Griffon Arts Alliance, it’s an expression of my kind of art,” Rodewald said. “I don’t necessarily have to do what is expected in class. This is my own style.”

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