Perhaps my awe of the exhibit is partially due to the fact that this is, I admit, my first time stepping foot in a C.A.T.S event or even A*space. As a freshman last year I had gotten word of a few events the organization was putting on, most memorably the long raved-about Nude Leaks, in which students displayed artwork in response to the online leaking of celebrities’ private photos (and which I’m sorry to have missed). However, it wasn’t until becoming acquainted with a member of C.A.T.S that I knew exactly what the organization was or that it was open to public submissions. I had some idea that it was more of an exclusive alliance that whipped out very stylish, art-centric events bi monthly. I’m certain this was due to my lack of looking into the matter more, but commonly the misconception seems to have been shared by other students last year. In any case, the new chairs are making an effort to avoid this misunderstanding among newcomers to Sarah Lawrence.
“The school was called the Back to School show because what we wanted to do was to get all the new people involved,” says sophomore Tyler Porter, who is co-chairing C.A.T.S alongside sophomore Shy Adelman this year. “In years past they (C.A.T.S) hadn’t had anything at the student organization fair or anything like that, and we wanted to change that since we’re taking over. So the whole point is that any work you’ve done over the summer, you can show in the Back to School show. We try to keep out, like, poetry and stuff like that because too much of that is just walls of, literally, text. It was mostly photography this time, which makes sense since people aren’t going to lug their paintings to school. But we hope to get more sculpture, maybe a bit of performance art as the year goes on.”
When asked why he believes C.A.T.S is valuable for students at SLC, freshman Max Tullio, whose photography was featured in the show, says, “It creates a friendly space for all of us to share art, no matter how different in scope the art may be.”
This seems to be not far from what the new chairs of C.A.T.S deem as the goal for this year: Inclusiveness and spreading enthusiasm for artwork. “We’re already kind of doing it, being in the organization fair, bringing more people in, getting the word out there, having posters, just trying to invite as many people as possible,” says Porter. “We’re just trying to make it more open than it was, less like a secret cult and more like an actual organization where we can bring people in, have more art, really, and have a bigger crowd, get more people excited about visual art.”
(Featured image by Shy Adelman)