*This story was published in the October 22, 2015 issue of the The Hastings College Collegian. Story and photo by Tyler Schuster.
Starting on Tuesday October 20, Hastings College will present the annual Artist Lecture Series Student Symposium. This year’s theme is IMAGE. The ALS events begin on Tuesday evening and will conclude Thursday evening. In total, there are twelve scheduled speakers, including four keynote speakers.
The theme IMAGE is something that became important to the committee throughout the ALS planning process.
“When we were first introduced to the theme (IMAGE), we looked at the word literally,” ALS committee member Justin Arends said. “From there we started to thinking more abstractly about the word.”
The committee’s various interpretations of the word IMAGE has culminated in an impressive lineup of speakers touching on a variety of topics.
The mission of the Artist Lecture Series (ALS) is to encourage and provide financial support for extraordinary artistic, cultural and academic experiences for the Hastings College community. The series is almost exclusively student-run and is one-of-a-kind in the area.
“It’s a really cool event because no other schools, at least in the area, do anything like this. It’s like a mini TED Talk, essentially,” ALS Co-chair Anna Griggs said. “It’s a cool event because you get to explore a ton of topics and you don’t have to do any schoolwork in the process.”
ALS has a rich history at Hastings College, dating back to 1986, and relies on heavy involvement from students. The Student Symposium Committee is comprised of eleven students, screened via a very selective nomination process. The group has students that span all corners and departments of the Hastings College campus. This diversity, paired with hard work from these student leaders, is a recipe for success, says ALS Faculty Sponsor Brett Erickson.
“The great part about is, as both students and a faculty sponsor, it brings together a really diverse group of students across campus,” he said. “The students who are apart of student symposium don’s sit on their laurels and they really get things done.”
This year’s lineup of keynote speakers includes neuroscientist performing violinist/composer Kaitlyn Hova, advertising guru and author Jean Kilbourne and world-renowned photographers Rebecca Norris Webb and Alex Webb. This star-studded lineup of speakers has both students and faculty buzzing.
“I’m really looking forward to Nicole Martin’s presentation Mediated Masculinity: The Impact of the Mass Media and Men’s Body Image Concerns and Self-Concept,” Arends said. “I feel sometimes we get caught up on women and image and forget that there is a whole other side to that.”
“Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb are two of the best photographers on earth,” Erickson said. “For me, it’s sort of like meeting Gandhi.”
Unlike the rest of the ALS Committee, Co-chair Anna Griggs has a special connection to one of this year’s presenters.
“My dad (Steve Griggs) is speaking,” Griggs said. “So I’m excited to see his presentation with a cosmetic surgeon (Dr. Randy Robinson) talking about the interaction between the creative processes of watercolor art and cosmetic surgery.”
This year’s Artist Lecture Series is sure to provide a variety of perspectives and challenging the thinking from students and members of the community.
“(After attending ALS presentations) I think they (students) will hopefully walk out of this a bit more well informed, a bit more skeptical of accepting what they see or closing their eyes to what they don’t want to see,” Erickson said.
“I mean you just get to sit and listen from people who are doing really cool things in the world,” Griggs said. “You get to hear how they’re making a difference, and hopefully that’s an inspiration to people, because it is for me.”