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Art Magazine for Undergrads Going Strong

Four BU women launch SquinchMag.com


One night at the end of spring 2017 semester, three BU undergrads shared a lament over plates of Thai food at Noodle Street.

“We were frustrated that there weren’t a lot of opportunities for undergraduates who were interested in art to get involved,” says Olivia Williams (CFA’20, CAS’20). “And we thought, why don’t we make our own opportunity? Why don’t we just make something ourselves?”

So last summer, Williams, Rachel Kubrick (CAS’20), and Sofija Chroneos (CFA’20), working with their friend Kabita Das (CFA’20), rolled up their sleeves? and did just that. Their online art magazine Squinch?debuted in September. Planned as a quarterly, the winter issue drops mid-December. They’ve just unveiled a Kickstarter campaign to help fund a print version.

“We thought the best way to get started was with an issue already published this year and with content to show people,” says Williams, who handles writing and web design. “So they could see what this actually was, instead of just talking about it.”

Kubrick’s areas are writing and finance, Chroneos is in charge of art, and Das works on PR, web design, photography, and videography. About 20 other undergrads are involved so far, and the founding quartet is looking for more contributors and more artists who’d like to see their work showcased.

This untitled piece by Sam Powers (CAS’20) will be featured on the cover of the winter issue of Squinch.

This untitled piece by Sam Powers (CAS’20) will be featured on the cover of the winter issue of Squinch.

Each quarterly issue offers an in-depth look at a featured artist from the area, along with a selection of student art and a comic by a different student artist every issue. The winter issue features Boston’s Brian Murphy, the creator of Totally Wired Sculpture, student works by Beyza Sahin (CAS’18), Eleftheria Horiatis (CGS’18), Kai Medina (CAS’21), Barbara Kang (CFA’20), Xian Boles (CFA’20), Nina Miller (CFA’20), and Samuel Powers (CAS’20), who also did the cover art, plus a comic by Carina Imbornone (CAS’20).

Between scheduled issues, the Squinch team posts a steady stream of articles, such as the recently published “12 Video Artists to Watch,” a conversation with artist Olivia Hamilton (CFA’18), an account of the College of Fine Arts MFA Lecture by New York comic artist Mark Thomas Gibson, and an examination of filmmaker David Lynch’s effect on “resurgent surrealism.” There are reports in or due from New York, Paris, and Iceland—undergrads tend to travel a lot—as well as from close to campus.

In a piece?about the current Museum of Fine Arts Mark Rothko exhibition, Powers writes about the canvas titled No. 1: “As you stand across from the painting, the size alone is overwhelming enough to force you to stop. The longer you gaze, the slower your breathing gets, the more details you notice: the wispy brush strokes, the slight variations in color, the transparencies between layers. All of this endows the rectangle with life.”

“We feel like we have a unique voice, giving students a platform where they can talk about their art in an academic sense or a more casual sense,” says Das. “Our hope is that we have lots of different voices, not just a very academic voice.”

“There are a lot of platforms for people who are in their mid-20s and living in Brooklyn and writing for some art blog,” Kubrick says. “But there’s none really for undergraduates, who are the future of art.”

The founders are hoping to raise a modest $1,200 with their just-launched Kickstarter campaign. They want to be able to publish a print edition by the end of the school year, pay for promotional materials, and maintain their website. The print version will collect the best articles and artwork appearing on the site all year.

They currently fund Squinch out of pocket “because we’re self-reliant women,” Kubrick says. They made the decision not to become an official student activity (which would get funding from the University) because they hope to expand to include contributions from undergrads at other Boston area campuses and beyond.

Squinch logo

“We’re pretty excited. We feel like we have something that is useful and that people will actually enjoy outside of our community,” Williams says.

Oh, and the name? It may sound like a Dr. Seuss character, but it’s actually a thing: an architectural feature made to form a base for a dome.

“We learned about squinches in our Introduction to Art History class, and the symbolism was fitting,” the founders write on their Kickstarter page. “Squinch Magazine will work to support the collegiate art community and the art world itself, just as a squinch in architecture holds up the dome.”

Students interested in writing for Squinch or having their artwork featured should email [email protected] or check out Squinch on Facebook.?

Joel Brown, writer, BU Today at Boston University
Joel Brown

Joel Brown can be reached at [email protected].

One Comment on Art Magazine for Undergrads Going Strong

  • Ryan Roth Gallo on 12.01.2017 at 12:50 pm

    This is so exciting! I am very impressed by the initiative and entrepreneurship these students are demonstrating. I can’t wait to see more from this group.

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