The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News


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The Blue Room serves as creative space for students

The staff finalizes the issue by laying out the page designs on the wall to the set the page order and to make sure the pages are cohesive.

To recognize the work of students and faculty, the bold and bright pages of The Blue Room magazine collect this year’s memories in the art department.

The publication was founded in 2013 by Jamie Olson, alumna art major, who was editor for the magazine and now works in Ohio designing books.

Co-Editor Brooke Szweda, junior art major, said Olson did not think the art department was as well represented as others, which led to the creation of the magazine.

The Blue Room allows for students’ artwork to be recognized, as all of its content comes from submissions that accompany an artist statement. The members then vote on the top 40 pieces to feature.

Szweda said students can learn the steps in magazine production, and members hope to recruit high school and Eastern students for future editions.

While the publication generally consists of features on graduate students and faculty, members said they’re always looking for new ideas from new and current members to make each edition different from the last.

When coming up with a name for the magazine, the founder decided to focus on something that was missing from the art department.

The Doudna Fine Arts Center is separated into three wings: music, theatre and art. Each wing is supposed to have a room dedicated for their students to sharpen their skills.

Theatre has the Green Room; music has the Red Zone, and the art department was supposed to have the Blue Room.

However, the room was never built, so the magazine adopted the name to provide their own place for art students to showcase their work.

Sage Spencer, a sophomore art major, said she joined because she wanted to promote art in a professional way.

The process of weaving together the semester’s work has many steps that are completed before the magazine is published.

Public Relations Specialist Maddie Pearson, a sophomore art major, said watching the magazine from start to finish is her favorite part of the creative process.

“You see magazines and people buy them all the time, but you never really see the work that goes into them,” said Pearson. “Being able to see all of the pieces people submit and all the hard work put in is really great to be a part of.”

The members must gather interviews, artist statements and artwork which is then sent over to the design team. Each designer will work on one artist’s spread at a time.

“We have a big meeting near the end where we pin up all of the individually designed spreads on the wall, and then we look at the magazine as a whole to see what should be changed,” Szweda said.

Szweda said the cover is voted on in the beginning and guides the team on how they will design the entire magazine.  Each issue costs approximately $10 to  $13.

David Griffin, chair of the art department, and the adviser Hannah Freeman have assisted throughout the magazine’s process.

The final step for The Blue Room is the manual binding and trimming day, and that generally takes eight hours to complete.

“We work, but then we also get to see the magazine. It’s the first time you get to hold it and be like, ‘Oh my gosh, I made this,'” Szweda said.

Abbey Whittington can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Abbey Whittington
Abbey Whittington, Entertainment Editor (Spring 2016)
Hello, I'm Abbey Whittington. I am a freshman journalism major with a minor in woman's studies. I am a lover of music from pop artists like Beyonce to metal bands like the Black Dahlia Murder. Writing has been very important to me for most of my existence, and as the entertainment editor I hope to strengthen my skills.

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