Biannual Throw Night raises money, encourages artists

Whitney Clum

The fun at Washburn’s art department is never half-baked.

In an effort to raise money and encourage the community to engage in the arts, the Washburn Process Coalition put on Throw Night Oct. 13 in the art building. Students and members of the community came into the ceramics room to work with clay, make pottery and peruse the projects that art majors had worked on throughout the semester.

“It just really lets people into the process,” Stevie Delgado, junior graphic design and ceramic sculpture double major said.  “We love to show people behind the scenes and the work that goes into each piece of art. I really like after it comes out of the kiln and you get to see all of your hard work come to fruition. It’s really fun to see after you throw it, bisque it and glaze it what it turns out to be.”

Participants signed up for a session, while others inspected finished mugs, vases, prints and superhero paraphernalia. Desserts and drinks were sold to help raise funds for WPC.

Once a session began, Monette Mark, ceramics professor, gave everyone step-by-step instructions on how to make a basic pot using a wheel, then mingled with the participants and offered assistance and critique. Once the projects were finished, they were dried on a rack and fired in kilns. For a $5 fee, attendees could choose from three colors to glaze their creations.

Throw Night serves a dual purpose for the Washburn community: an opportunity for non-art students to try their hand at ceramics and a fundraiser for the art department.

Lexi Balun, co-president of the organization and junior studio arts major, said that funds can be used to fund student trips as well as art supplies.

“It’s really important to us to give students the opportunity to go to conferences they would not normally get to go to,” Balun said.

Mark said that the conferences students attend vary in scale and focus.

“There’s a variety of conferences this year,” Mark said. “There’s the international culture conference yearly. We go to another conference yearly that’s ceramics based. Next year we’re going to go to Pittsburgh for NCECA, the National Council of Education for the Ceramic Arts. A lot of times [students will] go to a printmaking conference as well.”

In addition to conferences, Mark said that WPC also participates in several service opportunities on and around campus.

“We have been invited to help with the Mother Earth News Fair,” Mar said. “They are going to do a print making event there.”

With crowds of curious community members floating in and out throughout the night, WPC was able to use their event to not only help Washburn students, but Topekans in general get a taste of what the art department has to offer.

“Anybody from the community is welcome,” Balun said. “It’s our passion to show people the things we are learning here.”