By Ameerah Angelina and Amirah Yasmin
IIUM Art Club (iAC) was officiated under the Centre for Arts and Cultural Sustainable Development (CITRA) in 2017 but the origin of iAC travels three years back when it was founded by Megat Abdul Rahman, the first president of iAC. Today, iAC is home to IIUM’s very own society of artists.
The operation of iAC is versatile catering to the various interests of its members. Programmes handled by iAC include, but are not limited to, workshops, live paintings and merchandise sales. By joining iAC, members get to polish their existing skills while being introduced to a new dimension of the creative universe.
The tenure of iAC 2021 aims mainly to offer a healthy form of escapism to all of its members through art. With mental health being a concerned prevalent issue among many students today, especially with the addition of COVID-19 and online learning, many artists use various forms of art as a therapeutic escape from the negative things in life, such as stress, anxiety and depression. Offering a healthy choice of escapism, iAC strives to help promote our talented artists’ masterpieces to the public both in and out of the IIUM community through various programmes and social media platform (IG:@iiumartclub).
In relation to the club, it is important to stress that just as there is diversity in our Malaysian community, there is also diversity in art. The limit to art is the sky; vast and broad. While many of us will typically think of paint and figures on canvas when mentioning art, those are not the only form of art.
Art carries a wide variety of branches which are all a form of expression and application of creative skills and imagination through creative activities involving various branches such as painting, music, photography, crafts, literature, dance and fashion. In short, art can literally be anything and everything in which creativity exists.
Not only that, iAC offers a strong support system since all members are connected with their love for art. Experienced members who already made it to the art industry are always happy to mentor and guide others. This healthy community is indeed a unique feature of iAC that inspires its members to appreciate their diverse artworks as well as improving their skills. To strengthen the bond among members, iAC took the initiative to conduct ‘art picnics’ which is a get-together session organised by the committees.
Last but never least, iAC works as an advocate to introduce the public to the value of arts. It is no stranger that the literacy among the IIUM community as well as the general public towards art value is devastatingly low. This includes intangible assets such as logos, branding posters and mural designs enjoyed by entities at a relatively low or non-existent price.
The blame, however, should not be pointed to the consumer’s side of artwork services given the situation of no active awareness towards art value. Therefore, iAC has taken the initiative to gradually enlighten the IIUM community regarding the value of arts to ensure that its members, as well as all artists of IIUM, will no longer have their skills exploited for a one-sided benefit again.
Art, an immortal beauty surviving the world for centuries, will always be treasured by all levels of mankind. Together with the recognition of iAC by the university, let us appreciate artists and artworks by giving the love they deserve. ***
(The writers, Ameerah Angelina and Amirah Yasmin, are in the Entrepreneurship and Logistics committee of IIUM Art Club)
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