The Smoke Signal, MSJ's Official Newspaper

Arts and Entertainment

MSJ Art Clubs

By Staff Writers Heather Gan, Amber Lee & Julia Park

Among MSJ’s wide array of clubs are several dedicated to the visual arts. For those looking to join a community of artists or to discover a new interest, the Smoke Signal compiled a guide to six clubs that focus on subjects ranging from origami to photography.

A La Mode
Are you someone constantly on top of fashion trends or on the lookout for new ways to revamp your style? If yes, A La Mode is the right fit for you. The club, whose advisor is Counselor Ivy Lee, is perfect for anyone who enjoys design, art, and fashion. Besides discussing current trends and hosting clothing swaps, the club holds an annual fashion show and receives invitations to college fashion shows. A La Mode plans on having a few more clothing swaps before the end of the year so members can switch up their styles. “I love how this club is a platform where people with different interests come together as a whole to enjoy and share different styles of self expression,” said President Senior Grace Huang.

Paper Business Origami Club
Paper Business Origami Club is not just a club for seasoned origamists, but also for people who are looking to learn this Japanese art. According to President Senior Eric Jair, anyone can join this club. “We teach origami step by step so if someone is less skilled, we have officers teach one-on-one,” said Jair. At each meeting, members learn to make different models of origami, which are usually related to the current season and holidays such as Christmas-themed origami for December. The club also plans an annual Valentine’s Day fundraiser where they sell origami roses with chocolate. The club holds meetings regularly every two weeks in B-24, English Teacher Patricia Weed-Wolnick’s room. 

National Art Honors Society
National Art Honors Society (NAHS) is an active community of students interested in the visual arts and welcomes people of all skill levels. Art Teacher Edie Christensen is the advisor for the club, which meets most Tuesdays in her room, E-3. There is a different agenda each meeting, and officers hold tutorials and activities for different art forms.The club holds workshops and also has yearly activities, such as participating in the annual Trashy Fashion Show organized by L2’s Green Team. Co-President Senior Melissa Zhuang said, “I’ve been part of this club since my freshman year … it’s been really great to see how we’ve grown. We started out with literally no members, and then we started planning our activities, trying different things, and it was kind of tough but I think it was especially rewarding.”

MSJ Picture Perfect Photography
MSJ Picture Perfect Photography is the perfect club for anyone interested in learning how to capture a good photo. The club meets in Digital Photography Teacher Bruce Farnsworth’s room, E-7. During meetings, club members can participate in photo shoots and practice photography techniques in a studio set up in Farnsworth’s room. Students of all skill levels can join Picture Perfect, and although some special equipment is needed for photo shoots, the club is currently looking to add more equipment to the studio for students to use. Regarding what he liked most about the club, President Senior Mitchell Wu said, “I think it’s just the flexibility of this club, and we get to choose what to do, and there’s always a lot of people interested [in this topic].”

Phoenix Art and Literary Magazine
Phoenix’s main activity is publishing and selling its annual art and literary magazine, which showcases works from MSJ students. In the beginning of the year, they prepare for Phoenix fundraisers by making artsy items such as soap or colored mugs. Later, they select the top student submissions of artwork, photography, prose, poetry, or even college essays. This year, Phoenix kicked off their Facebook page with weekly spotlights on lesser known outside artists and writers. The club is planning to expand their coverage in the future. “We’re working on starting the monthly spotlight on Mission artists, instead of just unknown artists around the world,” Editor-in-Chief Senior Ashley Chang said. Their advisor is English Teacher Cherylle Lindsey, and club members usually meet off-campus.

Visual Arts and Music Society (VAMS) offers the perfect combination of visual arts, music, and service. They accommodate people of all skill levels, and their main activity is organizing benefit concerts such as the recent Hymns for Haiti concert in the winter. However, there are a variety of other creative activities that VAMS participates in, such as making musical greeting cards that play a song when opened or creating instruments out of recycled material. During their monthly meetings every Tuesday during lunch at English Teacher Nina LaRosa’s room, P-25, they go over new events that members could volunteer for. VAMS President Senior YC Xing said, “What I like most is the interdisciplinary culture that we have between music and art…[which] gets people with all different kinds of interests together.”

Photo Courtesy National Art Honors Society

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