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The Onyx launches their 2022-23 cover contest

Emily Rosenberg / THE GATEPOST

By Emily Rosenberg

Associate Editor

A student walking past the McCarthy Center Forum on Tuesday night would’ve noticed purple and pink streamers creating a curtain teasing creative festivities behind it.

Behind the curtain, students were greeted by members of The Onyx who hosted a launch party for their 2022-23 issue cover contest.

With mustachioed balloons bouncing around tables decorated with yellow tablecloths, students were offered fruit punch and chips while they relaxed and worked on writing, painting, and collage making.

Scattered across tables were the materials students were provided to work with: copies of The Gatepost, plastic bags, watercolor painting palettes, pencils, and a multitude of colored papers.

Emily Monaco, art editor for The Onyx and a sophomore studio art major, led an activity where students created poetry by cutting up pieces of newspaper and magazine, shaking it up into a plastic bag, pulling out the pieces, and collaging the words into a poem.

She said this form of poetry is called “Dada,” which began as a tradition in Switzerland.

Monaco added the purpose of a Dada poem is that it is supposed to be provocative and make little sense.

Monaco said for students who were unsure if they should submit to the cover contest or their work for publication in The Onyx, “You miss 100% of the shots that you don't take. And it's definitely worth submitting something, because you never know, you might get published in a magazine, which is a really amazing accomplishment, especially for a college student.” She said she is looking for art that is “shocking” and represents thinking “outside of the box” for cover-contest submissions.

This year, The Onyx is including the challenge that contestants must stick to a specific color palette for their art, Monaco said. She said, while the color palette limits artists it “gives the opportunity for students to work through a challenge, which is an important skill I think everyone should be able to have.”

Leticia Rita Santos, a sophomore American Sign Language major, said the launch party was a wonderful idea to bring people together who are interested in art to destress during finals week.

Olivia Themistocles, a sophomore English major and member of The Onyx, painted a yellow smiley face with crossed black eyes. She said she didn’t have much of a plan when beginning the painting but it was just a silly piece to make while having fun hanging out.

Themistocles said her favorite part of being in The Onyx is having “creative freedom.” She said she did not submit to the literary magazine at her high school, and getting her work published in The Onyx is rewarding.

Sylvie Ficco, an Earth Science major and member of The Onyx, created a blue collage from snippets of an older edition of The New Yorker. She has been a member of The Onyx, submitting poems since she was a freshman. She said the best part about working on The Onyx is getting to see the final product at the end of the year.

Emma Lyons, editor-in-chief of The Onyx, said she hopes people had fun at the event “expressing their creativity.”

[Editor’s Note: Emma Lyons is an Arts & Features Editor of The Gatepost.]


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