The Aquarian: defining new artistic boundaries

JU’s literary art magazine changes their new submission setting

Tenesha Green, Contributing Writer

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -Some people use drawing, others writing. Still others use photography as a way to express themselves to the world.

The Aquarian literary art magazine debuted almost 50 years ago. Since then it has allowed a variety of students to display their art and writing pieces for the entire campus to see.

Now, for the first time in its history, the Aquarian will accept more than just 2D and 3D art. This opens the door for dancers, sculptors, and filmmakers to also have an outlet on campus to express their talents.

Chris Dew, an instructor of English at JU for the past nine years and a co-advisor for the Aquarian for the last five years, explains the goal of the magazine.

“We try to give a good representation of what our students are doing in and beyond the Fine Arts Department,” he said. “By widening our selection of pieces the upcoming edition will now include visual artist, blown glass sculptures, painting and digital media.”

By expanding the ways people can showcase their talents, the Aquarian staff believes it will help with the readership of the magazine.

Christina Sumpter, a three-year staff member and junior communications major, agrees.

“I think the changes will attract a new group of people that traditionally may not be interested in art or writing. It will also interest longtime supporters of our magazine because they’ll see things from a new artistic lens.”

The only requirement for the magazine is that you are a current student at JU. Students can then proceed to submit up to 10 pieces and those ten pieces can come in all artistic forms.

A common misconception of the magazine is that it is only for photography and written works and also that you must be either an English or art major to join the staff or even submit.

D’Ayn Sayre, a junior English major and editor in chief for the Aquarian, has been a part of the magazine for two years. She urges everyone to submit to the magazine.

“We do accept any type of art regardless of a person’s major. You can be a physics major and can draw,” she said.

Dew agrees.

“It’s really for anyone who has something they’ve written or think is beautiful. It represents our standard of excellence here.”

Art sometimes does not get the attention it deserves, but literary magazines like the Aquarian help serve as proof that art should be appreciated.

“The Aquarian is a great club for students who appreciate art and writing,” Sumpter said. “Sometimes it feels as though JU only pushes certain things such as healthy living, eco-friendly products, athletics, etc. but writing and art isn’t as much in the forefront. The Aquarian is a great reminder as to why writing and art is just as important.”

The Aquarian is looking for new members to join its family, whether as a regular submitter or a staff member. Sayre beams with joy as she reminisces on her experience about being a part of the Aquarian staff.

“I absolutely love it,” she exclaimed. “I’ve been able to combine two passions of mine, literature and art.” “My team for the past two years has been incredible.” “We all come together to make something really beautiful.”