By Hannah Forbush, Staff Writer
On November 10 Knack an online arts journal run by University of Maine at Farmington (UMF) students will make its debut to the public. The arts journal was created by three UMF students and will feature art from throughout the Western Maine area. The online journal will be not only available to the UMF community but to the public as well.
Knack began last spring in professor Steven Pane’s Project 2 class. Three students were passionate enough about the project to want to continue with it. Christina Hallowell is in charge of marketing, Hannah Watson handles the technical aspects, and Jonathan Osborne is the lead editor. “We want to have a place online where we can publish photos and videos and artwork,” said Hallowell. “It’s to educate people about whats going on in the art world of Western Maine.” Since Knack is an online journal, students are very excited to be able to include multimedia art including music, dance, videos, as well as written work about all types of art from the Western Maine region.
Before Knack was released to the public two issues had already been produced. These issues included movie reviews, and theatre reviews of on campus productions, notably The Tempest, performed in the Alumni Theater last spring. “We did a character analysis, a piece on the costume design, and compared the experience of reading the play to watching the play,” explained Hallowell. For this upcoming issue, the Knack staff is planning an article on the television show Orange is the New Black and a video interview with multimedia artist and UMF alumni Kristen Bisson.
One aspect of Knack which sets it apart from other arts journals is the comprehensive arts calendar that will be featured on the site. “We have affiliates all across Western Maine. We got in contact with theaters and the Arts Institute of Western Maine and have compiled a calendar,” said Watson. “It’s a place where everyone can see all art events across Western Maine.” Knack will be the first website to offer such a calendar for the area.
Knack is almost entirely student run. The advisor, Steve Pane, is their means of contact with members of UMF administration, but he leaves editing and the publishing decisions to the students. “The students see the journal as theirs,” said Pane via email. “They are taking what they have learned in the classroom and applying it to a real-world project. That is a deep and powerful learning experience.”
Watson, Hallowell, and Osborne are happy to welcome new students to the Knack publishing team. “It would actually be beneficial to us,” said Watson. “Especially because Jon and I will be graduating soon. As long as people are excited about Knack, we would be happy to have them helping out.”
Knack’s debut is happening on Monday, November 10 at 6:00 PM in the Emery Community Arts Center. “We’re going to have a short presentation and some performances from students and faculty,” said Hallowell. The performances will include theatre, dance, and music. To learn more about Knack, visit the Knack Arts Journal Facebook page, or the Twitter account @Knack_Journal.