fishladder preview displayed in Red Wall Gallery

Undergraduate literary journal showcased at GVSU

By Marissa LaPorte | 3/20/16 9:01pm

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GVL / Sara Carte - Grand Valley students, (left to right) Alison Farnsworth and Brittany Patrosso, look at the Flashladder Gallery Exhibit in Lake Ontario hall on Friday, March 18, 2016.

by Sara Carte / Grand Valley Lanthorn

A preview of the artwork that will be published in Grand Valley State University’s student-run literary journal, fishladder, is on display in Lake Ontario Hall for all eyes to see until the end of the winter 2016 semester.

The Red Wall Gallery will be home to an art gallery exhibit inspired by fishladder until the end of April. Fishladder is a student-run literary journal that publishes student artwork such as fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, drama and photography. The journal’s student editors choose the best work they receive from the student body for publication. Fishladder is currently in its 13th year of publication.

Jacqueline Vega, student editor of fishladder, said even though all of the artwork submitted doesn’t make it into the art gallery, it’s a great way for other students to see what fishladder has to offer.

“As a generation, we’re very image-based and we like to see things in smaller doses and test things out before we buy the product, so I see (the gallery) as (a way) to sample what we have to offer,” Vega said. “Seeing a theme come out of something is inspiring because it shows that your art can speak to someone else’s art even when you didn’t intend it to.”

The “fishladder: Student Scholars Day Exhibition” will be on display on the Red Wall Gallery until April 30. The gallery is made up entirely of student artwork selected by fishladder student editors.

Vega said the journal acts as an excellent opportunity for writing and art students to share their work with others.

“It’s a good experience especially if you want to be published in your writing career,” Vega said. “As far as publishing goes, it’s rather low-stakes because it’s an undergraduate literary journal, but we still take a lot of pride in it.

"I think everyone who is on staff is really dedicated and proud of the work that we do. In addition to giving resources to publish, it also gives people the opportunity to be on an editorial staff.”

David Newell, GVSU’s curator of exhibitions, said this art gallery allows others to get a glimpse into the world of art and writing students. Newell’s favorite aspect of the exhibit is the variety of work that is displayed from different students.

He said the art gallery is a great way to document perspectives that students can look back on in the future to see if their perspectives change as they go through their lives.

“Often when we’re working on exhibitions, it’s a single viewpoint, but this is a wide range of people coming together with varying opinions, ideas and concepts that (the students are) expressing which is an exciting thing to see and it broadens your own perspective,” Newell said. “Often times other things are being imposed on students, other people’s opinions and agendas, but this stands alone. It’s your voice coming back to you.”

Vega said one of fishladder’s biggest goals is to bring together and support the writing and art community at GVSU, as well as create a way for other students to see what’s going on in their departments.

“If you’re not an art major or a writing major, you don’t get to see your classmates’ work workshopped, displayed, reviewed or critiqued,” Vega said.

As a fishladder editor, Vega is thankful for the opportunity to receive exposure for the journal through the art gallery as well as see the students’ work displayed in a unique way.

For more information visit, www.fishladder.wordpress.com.

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