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The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

Zine-Making Workshop Provides a Unique Outlet for Students, Community Members

Zine-Making Workshop Provides a Unique Outlet for Students, Community Members
Colgate University

Colgate University Museums and the Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) hosted a zine-making workshop at the Hamilton Public Library on Saturday, Feb. 24. from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The workshop offered members of the Colgate and Hamilton communities an opportunity to take a break from their day, learn about the history of zines and express themselves through creative production.

The term zine — pronounced “zeen” and derived from the word “magazine” or “fanzine” — is typically used to describe any small, self-published work consisting of text, images or both. Nick West, curator of Colgate’s Picker Art Gallery and co-director of University Museums, elaborated on the origins of zines at the workshop.

“Zines are the descendant of the pulp fiction magazines which were in their heyday in the 1920s through the 1940s,” West said. “These were really cheap, printed on really cheap paper [and] easy to obtain.”

West also underlined the connection between zines and the Picker Art Gallery’s current exhibition, “Tales of Terra,” which is on display until March 3. The artist whose work is displayed in the exhibition, Lee Brown Coy, illustrated for many 20th-century pulp fiction magazines, first in the 1920s through 1940s, as well as during a revival in the popularity of the magazines in the 1970s. West hoped that the workshop could spur an interest in the kinds of works displayed in the gallery.

“We thought we would do this workshop so that we could introduce folks to what it is to be a fan of something and make something that would be published — self-published,” West said. “It all connects back to the kind of work that Coy was doing for some of these publications.”

The zine-making workshop also connected to the current SCUA exhibition, “Relegated to the Margins: Women of Arts and Crafts Print Movement,” which further encouraged the jointly-hosted event.

Hoping to engage with the Hamilton community, the departments decided to hold the workshop at the Hamilton Public Library — unlike last semester’s similar workshop, which took place in Dana Arts Center on the Colgate University campus. Education and Engagement Coordinator for University Museums Audrey Hong explained the motivation behind the location change.

“We decided to host it at Hamilton Public Library this time around so we could get some community members and people who attend library events,” Hong said. “[People from] the wider Hamilton area community and people with young families [were welcome] if they wanted to come in and craft.”

That goal was met with relative success. Ryan Bigler, a parent in the Hamilton community, attended the event with his wife and daughter.

“My wife found [the workshop], and my daughter is very into art, so we thought we’d come give it a try,” Bigler said. “I thought it was pretty cool […]. I felt like more people should have been here.”

Similarly, senior Gabriella Amato, museum ambassador for the Longyear Museum and Picker Art Gallery, discussed the creative and stress-relieving nature of the workshop. She encouraged people to attend events like this one regardless of their degree of interest in Colgate’s museum exhibitions.

“Being able to carve out moments in my day where I can consciously practice art [is] a very nice relief from the day-to-day work schedule,” Amato said. “Even if you’re not interested in the exhibits in the museums, [you could] still come and have a good time because at the end of the day, it’s a good [form of] stress relief, and the events we host are good for the community.”

Hong echoed these thoughts and encouraged the Colgate community to look for similar opportunities in the future.

“The University Museums program hosts a lot of different fun activities and educational events, so people should keep on the lookout for some of the ones we have upcoming in the Spring semester,” Hong said.

The workshop succeeded in introducing its attendees to the innovative process of zine-making while simultaneously building stronger ties within the Hamilton and Colgate communities. Colgate is filled with engaging, relaxing and fun activities — as long as people are willing to try something new. 

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