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One Page Project gives students street cred

Article: Robyn Tocker – A&C Editor

As our campus art guru, Angel McDowell always has a few tricks up her sleeves. Or projects, as she likes to call them.

Last year, McDowell put the last “Little Black Book Project” to bed. For three years, McDowell carried out the project, which consisted of people purchasing a black book from the Art Store. The twist to this basic beginning was each book had a secret, different theme in the back. Participants were to alter the book based on their theme.

McDowell says that, based on the feedback she received, the process of altering a whole book was daunting. So, doing what she does best, McDowell flipped the project on its head and renamed it the “One Page Project”.

Instead of coming to the store and getting a book, participants come in to the Art Store and purchase a 9×12 multimedia page for five dollars. This time, everyone works with the same theme: “who.” McDowell says she hopes to do five volumes with the remaining themes being what, where, when, and why.

The nice thing about this project is anyone can do any medium they desire, whether it be photography, writing, artwork, or any combination of the three. It’s all up to what the participant wants to do with the simple theme.

On Nov. 30, when all submissions are due, McDowell compiles the completed pages, and will publish them as a book. This way, says McDowell, no one is disappointed about not finishing a book and everyone has access to the artwork created by themselves and their peers.

“People would come to bid on a certain book and when they missed out on it they were really disappointed. This way all they have to do is buy the book.”

Currently, the submissions are pushing 100 entries, which McDowell is excited about. Thankfully, there’s still room for more pages.

Speaking of pages, when will it become a book?

[pullquote]“My goal with all of these projects is to make people feel welcome on campus.” [/pullquote]

McDowell explained how a book launch is hoped to be set up for some time in mid-February. All of the original pages that people creating will be hung up on the walls during said launch, which will let people see the transition onto the printed page. The finished book will be sold not only in the Art Store, but the U of R Bookstore as well. McDowell also hopes to get it on the shelves in Chapters’ Saskatchewan Authors section, but she has to “okay this with the powers-that-be in fine arts” first.

Another nice aspect of the project is the entry fee you pay goes towards the purchase of your book, so essentially the five dollars is going towards something other than a piece of paper.

“It kind of washes its own face,” says McDowell.

Once the book is for sale, any proceeds that exceed the submission fee will go towards the Fine Arts students on campus. It’s like a fundraiser in a sense, but McDowell says it goes deeper than that.

“My goal with all of these projects is to make people feel welcome on campus.” The projects also give people who are not in the fine arts to be creative. She says people from other faculties love the opportunity to do something different.

McDowell hopes to see One Page become just as successful, if not more so, than Black Book.

“As a writer, I’ve always dreamed of having a book out there and I know there are a lot of people out there who have the same dream. It’s very difficult to do it as one person, but if we get a whole bunch of people together, why not?”

McDowell wants to remind anyone interested that there are no rejects. If you have ever wanted to publish something, this is your chance! It can give you some real “street cred,” as McDowell says.

She hopes to keep throwing little twists into future projects as long as she can. For now though, One Page is the focus and we all want big things to come from such a unique project.

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