The American River Review is an annual magazine compiled by students in Art New Media 358 and 359 as well as students in English Creative Writing 450 that features artwork created by students around campus.
Betty Nelsen, a former professor on campus who has assisted the student-run magazine since 2005, spoke about the process selection which allows for two days set aside during the spring semester for students to enter as many as five pieces of art for a spot in the magazine.
“We have photo stations in the Kaneko Gallery for 2-D and 3-D artwork and at the end of those two days all the photographic work is collected and renamed and then the rest of the semester the job of the class is to select somewhere between 70-100 pieces of artwork that will be sent forward to the design class in the fall,” said Nelsen.
Production of the AR Review is split into three courses: ARTNM 358 and 359, which deal with the overall design of the magazine, and ENGCW 450, which handles the editing and selection of submitted pieces.
Professor Michael Spurgeon, an English teacher on campus, teaches the ENGCW 450 course this semester where students also critique the works of art that have a possibility of being published for the AR Review.
When Spurgeon was asked what the AR Review meant to the student body he said, “It provides a showcase for the creative talents of American River College students so it provides a place for students to share their work and be recognized.”
Spurgeon added, “American River College is an exceptional California community college and is widely recognized as such, but there really are only a handful of programs on campus that have national prestige, and the American River Review is one of those programs.”
Thomas Smith, editor in chief of the magazine, agreed with Spurgeon when he said, “I think it’s great to have like this professional level of publication here on campus because it really gives both us as the staff and the students of the college this opportunity to experience both what its like to actually submit to a publication, what its like to run a publication and what its like to see this incredible body of work put together by students.”
One of many artists being considered for the final magazine is Betsy Harper. Harper has previously submitted three poems for this year’s AR Review.
“I used to be with the literary magazine – I just got done with four semesters sitting in these chairs so this is very cool to be on the other side,” said Harper.
Although the AR Review is mostly conducted by students, it is the teacher’s job to oversee the process and give his or her input.
Said Nelsen about her job of assisting students in the production of the magazine, “All the faculty, both in English and art new media, we really have felt that our role is to be an advisor and we create a container in which we can get the get the stuff done, but the students are doing virtually all of the work.”
Nelsen added, “We look over the shoulder and go, ‘think about this, think about that’.”
Spurgeon is proud of the work done by all the students involved with the AR Review as well as the positivity the magazine reflects upon the campus as a whole.
“Anytime you can make a college more well known both on a local level and on a national level it brings prestige to everybody who attends that college not just the people that are involved with the magazine.”