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The Antelope

Art and Design channels Halloween spirit with ‘UNKTober’

YEJIN KANG / ANTELOPE STAFF The 2021 UNKTober entries are hanging in the Art department hallway.

UNK Art and Design welcomes back “UNKtober” for another year of thrills, chills and spooks. Students can sign up for prompts to submit their most creative pieces of art for a chance to win prizes.

Samuel Rapien, visual communication and design professor, pitched the idea of a festive prompt competition with intentions of improving their social media.

“We adapted the idea of ‘Inktober’ with the prompts and Halloween aspect and opened it up to more fields than just ink,” Rapien said. “This is an art related opportunity we can take advantage of to both have fun within the department while also being able to promote these events or contests via social media.”

Growing in popularity each year, especially within the art department, UNKtober is open to anyone who has the hottest idea for the creepiest of prompts.

“The additional sign-up slots this year are to encourage as many people as possible to take part,” Rapien said. “Anyone is welcome to participate, though the spots fill up fast.”

Erin Tichota, art education major, is participating for the second year in a row, and she is hoping to win a couple of categories with her artwork.

“UNKtober is really fun and inspiring,” Tichota said. “It gets students to create artwork outside of classes. I’m happy UNKtober happens because it has helped me get out of so many art blocks.”

Each submission is vastly different from the next.

“I enjoy the unique prompts and how they allow students to interpret things in their own ways,” said  Elijah Carson, studio art freshman. “I also enjoy seeing my peers’ work and how they applied their ideas to the prompts.”

While these prompts get students’ creative juices flowing, UNKtober also awards four winners each year.

“This year ‘Best of the Best’ is being decided by UNK Art and Design faculty members,” Rapien said. “The scariest interpretation is awarded ‘Nightmare Fuel,’ ‘Very Cleaver’ is a clever interpretation and the cutest piece of art is ‘You Went With Adorable?!.’”

Students have interpretting these prompts creatively.

“My past submissions have done a lot with multimedia, so I wanted to do something with that again this year,” Tichota said. “I painted a self-portrait and modeled on that with air-dry clay to make my eye and lips 3D. To add in stitches, I thought it’d be really cool to put a needle and thread hanging from my nose.”

Rapien encourages the competition.

“Last year, we didn’t have very many entries because of the pandemic,” Rapien said. “Though, this year, it’s been really fun to just see what amazing things students are coming up with. The work itself has just amplified over the past few years, and I’m so excited to see UNKtober growing.”

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