The Long Dog Arts Festival, hosted in the Horn Gallery by the PEEPS last Saturday, greeted visitors with tie-dye, knitting and skin-scrub-making stations. Inside the Horn was a cookie-decorating station, where frosting and candy adorned dog-shaped sugar cookies. To invite passersby inside, the doors were propped open, creating a spacious, light-filled ambience. The 12-hour-long festival embraced creative freedom by spotlighting student art in a variety of mediums, from photography to poetry to music.
At around 3:15 p.m., the music group Aqueduct Ensemble took to the stage of the upper Horn. Their atmospheric, dreamy music suited the creative spirit of the festival. The saxophone added a jazzy flavor to their sound, and a small crowd leaned on bean bags or sat on the floor to listen to the performance. A breeze drifted through the space as music, laughter and conversation mingled in the airy upper exhibit.
On the stairs descending to the lower Horn, the walls were adorned with photography and paintings by a variety of students, the subject matter ranging from self portraits to miniature figures to bright, abstract pieces. The lower Horn displayed a wide range of works from an assortment of student artists. On one wall, poems were printed and vertically arranged on the wall, each student’s collections visually distinct from the others. The poetry was free verse and largely conversational, abandoning constraints of meter and form to prioritize authenticity.
In the center of the exhibit, miniature paintings hung from strings attached to the ceiling, showcasing art by Chloe “Teddy” Hannah-Drullard ’20, Arianna Marino ’19 and Megan Hasenfratz ’22. They each featured small, colorful scenes, some imprinted with phrases and others with symbols. Dangling from above, they created an immersive experience as guests wound through them.
Also featured was photography by Luke Hester ’20 and Ben Nutter ’21, photo editor of the Collegian, where candids added to the carefree feel.
One corner featured a three-dimensional display, with a blanket thrown over chairs in a makeshift fort. A sign in front invited visitors inside, where the artist had projected a movie onto the wall and situated pillows for optimal viewing experience.
A collaborative art wall effectively captured the spirit of the event. The wide paper banner was decorated with watercolors, markers and glitter located on a nearby table. The collective piece was filled with doodles, illustrations and messages from people of all ages and abilities. Not everyone made a conventional contribution; Isabel Jaffer ’22 scribbled a complicated equation on the wall, decorating it with glitter. “I added a chemistry equation to the collaborative art wall because I felt free to express art in a different form,” she said. “The vibe here is really liberating.”
As the night wore on, a variety of student bands continued to take the stage in the upper Horn, filling the space with brash drums and heavy guitars. The atmosphere of art and creativity remained, making the Long Dog Arts Festival a triumphant celebration of the pursuit of creative expression.