By Sarah Kader, Staff Writer
Two years after its creation, the Hofstra Association of Graphic Artists (HAGA) is more successful than ever. Co-presidents Emily Miethner and Doreen Dardashtian founded the club at the end of their sophomore year. Their main goal was to create an art club where people could learn from and teach each other about graphic designing. Not all members are art majors, says Miethner, "We're lucky this year our membership has doubled in size to 20 members."
A significant portion of HAGA is getting people involved through online forums. Already this semester HAGA started its own blog online to help members communicate and advertise events. When new students join the club they are required to create their own profile page on a graphic arts website. The profile pages showcase students' artistic capabilities and are great for showing to future employers.
One of the most successful events they put on last year was called "Not All Artists Are Starving." After noticing that the Career Center at Hofstra had never hosted an event for graphic art majors, the club got together with the Career Center to put on the networking event. Last year there were seven guest speakers and over 40 people attended the now-annual spring event, held at the University Club.
The next project they are looking forward to is the "Art of Healing," which will take up most of their time for the next month until the actual event takes place on November 30.
There are tutorials throughout the semester to help students learn how to use programs like Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. Members are strongly encouraged to share their own artwork and ideas. "One kid mentioned he found all these internships on Craig's List so we had him do an impromptu thing and share what he found," said Miethner.
With most of the Executive Board members graduating in the spring, Miethner says the club is trying to push for more group bonding and outside activities. Once a semester, they plan to visit art galleries in New York City and have already instituted Applebee's night on Thursdays so members can hang out with one another beyond their other responsibilities. In addition to regular meetings on Wednesdays and open lab hours in Calkins, they added Monday meetings that are not required but help keep people working together.
As for working on projects with other clubs, many have approached HAGA about working together on joint projects. Student Government Association President Sean Hutchinson has talked with HAGA about the possibility of having a permanent graphic artist on board. Miethner says "We'd love to do stuff like that but it's hard…The main focus right now is to have a strong core for HAGA and eventually branch out."