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 Winter Semester

Hello Living Arts! 

Hopefully you are all successfully braving the cold and the new semester. Moving on from UARTS 150, students are now starting the process of designing, building and creating their Collaborative Creative Projects (CCP's) with their mentor groups.  We look forward to seeing the results at the end of the year symposium in April!

We also have an exciting announcement! Next year, Living Arts will be expanding to add 40 more students and a third hall to our existing community in Bursley.  This is incredibly exciting as it means we will be able to promote creativity and interdisciplinary pursuits to an even bigger part of UofM!

Good luck with the rest of the semester!


Community Spotlights!


Alex Philpott

First-Year Student

Alex is a first year student in Living Arts looking to declare a major in Aerospace Engineering.  Something he really likes about Living Arts is getting to see all of the other projects that people are working on.  He pointed out that everyone in Living Arts has a different perspective, and being in the community surrounded by those different ways of thinking helped him to change his own perspective, specifically by making him be more precise and intentional in his own work.  He said this proved to be useful in some of his classes, for example when designing a blimp for an Engineering 100 class.  For that project he ended up using multiple iterations, which he had realized was a very helpful technique to use in his own creative process, and which might have been what helped him and his team win part of the competition held at the end of the class.  

Alex is also involved in MASA at UofM, a group that builds a large rocket each year and competes.  The part he is most involved in is the propulsion team, and as part of that group he helped redesign a hydrogen engine, including how the liquid fuel was added and how to include a remote abort system.  


As a member of the third class to take UARTS 150, Alex thought the class was very cool.  Some of the projects he worked on included developing a solution for a person with MS, solving a problem using a box but not using it as a box, creating a 3D object that reflected an essay without using any recognizable shapes, and creating a song using regular background-type noise.

Next year Alex will be coming back as a peer mentor and looks forward to being able to help the incoming students have as great an experience as he has had with Living Arts.


Lauren Murphy

Peer Mentor

A current peer mentor in her second year with Living Arts, Lauren is hoping to declare a major with the School of Information.  She is hoping to do web coding, and because of that she is also a TA for an introductory programming class that teaches python, mainly to students who have never taken a coding class.  According to Lauren, python is an easier coding language compared to others, and allows for a lot more creativity in writing programs because the basics are easier to master.  


Lauren says one of her favorite things about peer mentoring is that you get to introduce people to campus and all the opportunities it provides, but you still get to learn a lot of new things from the freshmen.  Especially when you just spend time in the lounge, she says, you get to see people doing things you don’t know about, and you get introduced to so many other things on campus you might not have seen otherwise.

Something that Lauren says she realized during her time with Living Arts is how much effort goes into art and music classes.  Although many people might view engineering as much harder than art, they actually have the same difficulty just in different contexts.  The struggles of an engineering student might be different on the surface than those of an art student, but underneath they are the same.  

Lauren says that Living Arts is what you make it.  It's people like her who make it an amazing place to be.


Megan Boczar


Megan Boczar, an Alumna of Living Arts and of the University of Michigan, was incredibly involved in the program as a Peer Mentor and Co-President of the Living Arts run programming board, IDEA.  Last year she graduated from the University but is still in town, working with UMS and SMTD.  Here is her beautiful piece on what Living Arts and art in general meant to her:


"Living Arts taught me that everything is an art. Playing piano is an art, dancing is an art, sure. But computer programming is an art. Archaeological excavation is an art. Art is beautiful and art is everywhere. 

I started my undergrad as an architecture major. That was not my art. The support network I had at Living Arts pushed me to look further. I landed in anthropology, a place where I thought there was only science, but I managed to find the art. Designing museum exhibits, cross stitching, and sewing are some of the arts I've explored. But I've also explored customer service, color coding and filing systems, which can be arts if you look at them the right way.

If nothing else, I still push my boundaries. I surround myself with beautiful, expressive people and I can explore their art as well. I enjoy so much more now than I thought I would, from classical music to nude movement pieces about feminism. While you're in Living Arts, you are pushed to push the boundaries, but remember to do that after you leave, too. 

Art is what you make it. Look around and find it."

- Megan Boczar, class of 2015


Congratulations Incoming Peer Mentors for 2016-2017!

Living Arts is proud to welcome 19 returning students as peer mentors for next year!  Peer mentoring keeps the Living Arts community spirit going strong so we are glad to have such an awesome group carrying that on.
Peer Mentors for next year are:  Samantha Beauchamp, Mitchell Curtiss, Sara Eskandari, Gladys Gonzalez, Amandha Goriparthi, Srishti Gupta, Kevin Yiwei Huang, Daniel Korth, Alexander Kraft, Alex Maynard, Bailey McMillian, Zach Mused, Jake Phillips, Alex Philpott, Sophie Raymer, Stephanie Sim, Caroline Uy, Natan Zamansky and Clayton Zimmerman.


All-Community Meeting Recaps


All-Community Meeting with Living Arts Alumnus, Kevin Allswede

November's All-Community meeting was led by Living Arts Alumnus, Kevin Allswede.  Combining arduino's, code, LED's and cardboard, students created pieces that lived in the intersection between computer and sculptural work.


All-Community Meeting with the Living Arts RA's!

This year's December All-Community Meeting was literally sweet.  Led by our two amazing RA's, Sarah Bedoyan and Adam Licavoli, students got the chance to sculpt with a rather unique medium, cake!   


Alumni Reunion Recap

The 3rd annual Living Arts Alumni Reunion Dinner was held on January 21st.  Catered by Jerusalem Garden, the event focused on reuniting Living Arts alumni with other's they might not have seen since their first year at UofM.  A vote was taken to decide what this year's winter semester alumni-run creative project will be, and the voting sheets were also used as raffle tickets for a prize.  The results of the vote: the creation of a Photo Mosaic using student submissions to the Photo Competition.

First-year students, stay tuned once you are alumni next year for your chance to get involved in the Living Arts Alumni Program!