King's students launch the Arts and Aesthetics Society


When she was a freshman at King’s, Abigail Jennings was given a piece of advice by an upperclassman: “Don’t expect to be creating any art on campus.” Now a sophomore, Jennings sees this as a challenge. “It is one of my major goals to fix that," Jennings said.

Some may know Jennings as the creator of the mural that once filled a wall of the fifth floor Art Room or as the painter that brought back to life King’s beloved fall retreat moose. Along with Mark Burger (‘17)—newly appointed Editor of the Arts and Ideas Review—she’s embarked on a new project: The Arts and Aesthetics Society (A&AS).

The society—which is in the process of officially registering as a student organization—aims to bridge the gap between on-campus work and off-campus art. “In my own life, I seek to find a community of artists or people who appreciate art, beauty and thought. And I know there are others who want the same,” said Jennings.

Abigail Jennings and Mark Burger. Photo by Hannah Gulledge.

Jennings and Burger aren't dissatisfied with the quality of the art education at King’s, but with the culture of the MCA program outside of the classroom. “I want for art not just to be something we talk about in class, but something... you can be a part of,” Burger explained.

So what does this look like practically? Burger and Jennings are planning to regularly hold salons, events loosely based on the salons of the 17th and 18th centuries where artistically-minded people would meet to exchange ideas. A&AS salons feature student-made artwork of various mediums which relate to one theme. The upcoming salon on March 12 is titled “Art in the Face of Death,” and any student who attends the event will receive Interregnum credit. All salons are free and open to the public.

Recently, the King’s club scene has seen major setbacks. In many cases, the clubs must travel outside of the city to participate in competitions, debates or ski trips. Due to a lack of extra funding, these trips aren't always possible, and when clubs aren’t able to maintain a steady stream of activities, morale drops and members dwindle.

Luckily for the members of A&AS, they live in one of the major art capitals of the world. As of right now, Jennings said, they aren't in need of any extra funding from the college.

Although Burger and Jennings don’t see the society's current size of 27 to be a problem, they agree that the more members the society has, the more each member will get out of it.

A point stressed by both Jennings and Burger is the society's environment of inclusion. Aspiring artists and finance majors are welcomed alike to all meetings. In Jennings's words, “Salons are about sharing ideas, as well as artwork, and the more perspectives present the better.”

Works of art presented at the salons and other pieces created by fellow King’s students will be showcased in an end-of-year gallery.

For more information contact the A&AS at