Section: Arts

Quaranzine aims to document creativity of students at home

Quaranzine aims to document creativity of students at home

In an effort to combat the heartbreak that came with Kenyon suddenly closing its doors until fall, Lucy Adams ’23 created a platform where students could have a creative outlet and remain connected to the school’s community. Cleverly titled Quaranzine, the project aims to showcase the art and creative writing of students while also allowing them to maintain contact with other students, and documenting people’s experiences in the midst of COVID-19.

As a prospective art and English double major, Adams has been making art for as long as she can remember. It was a hobby that the Oregon native became passionate about in high school, when she realized that “art could actually impact people and create emotional experiences,” an idea that is especially relevant during a global pandemic. Her passion for art only grew when she arrived on the Hill last August. “Like everyone else, the thing I value the most about Kenyon is being in a metaphorical boiling soup of creative activity and energy,” she said. When the news broke that students would not be returning after spring break, Adams, like most students, was devastated. “I was upset about losing contact with so many creative and interesting people.” Having previously made zines—small handmade magazines—while at Kenyon, Adams came up with the idea for Quaranzine.

“This period is incredibly bizarre and likely won’t happen again for a long time, which seemed like a recipe for interesting creative projects and self-expression,” Adams said. “I wanted to have some way to maintain contact with other students, and I wanted to document people’s experiences during these times. A zine seemed like an accessible way to do that.” Adams is hoping  for, and has already begun to get a multitude of submissions. She would love for the project to also act as a historical document of sorts, “where people can reference back to it in the future to see what creative Kenyon students were making during the pandemic.”

Additionally, she wants the project to reach “whoever wants to see it.” She plans on making physical copies, mostly because she’s “bad with computers and websites” but also to fill a different niche. A similar group on campus, Long Dog Art Collective, already has a website to showcase student work, so a physical collection would be unique. Adams plans to print copies on campus next semester, assemble them with friends, then put them in Peirce Dining Hall for the public to take. However she is also going to post an offer on Instagram to send finished copies to anyone who won’t be able to get one, like seniors graduating this spring.

Aside from running the Quaranzine project and contributing to Long Dog Arts Collective, Adams is also the co-founder and co-president of Fermentation Friends, Kenyon’s first fermentation club. She has also been participating in Kenyon’s “Poetry Exchange,” a mysterious email chain where students are randomly invited to send one another poems. This exchange in particular has made Adams feel more connected to Kenyon’s community. “It put me in contact with strangers and definitely forced some vulnerability in a really positive way. Opening my inbox to a nice note and a poem was really comforting.”

You can submit to Kenyon’s first-ever Quaranzine by sending your art to Lucy Adams (adams4@kenyon.edu). Submissions can be anything: drawings, poems, stories, lists, journal entries, paintings, photos, collages—anything that has been made while in self-isolation. Submissions will be collected through mid-August.

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