A glowing smile spreads across Mary Morgan’s face as she discusses her involvement in the local arts community. From the excitement beaming from her piercing blue eyes it’s not hard to tell that Morgan, a graduate student working to get her master’s degree in arts administration, is devoted to the arts.

This is Morgan’s third year as a participating artist and second year emceeing in the Emerging Leaders of the Arts Network’s (ELAN) fifth annual Beat and Brushstrokes silent auction. The event will take place on March 1 at the Petersen Barn Community Center at 7 p.m.

This is ELAN’s largest gathering of artists from the university and community who come together to bid for local artwork.

“(Beats and Brushstrokes) gives the students a chance to really get involved in the community itself and meet a wide range of people,” ELAN Chairwoman Evelyn Throne said.

ELAN board member, Alex Richardson believes in the importance of Beats and Brushstrokes to help students in arts administration program get hands on experience as well as showcase other artists in the community.

“I think (Beats and Brushstrokes) is a really good opportunity to bridge student interests, especially students in the art (something) with the rest of campus,” Richardson said.

Each year, ELAN has set parameters for what the artwork can be made of. This year all the art was to be created from musical mediums, such as vinyl records, cassette tapes or eight tracks.

Although Morgan doesn’t consider herself a professional, or “an artist with a capital A,” she submitted a collage this year to the silent auction.

“I’ve made things I thought were so stupid, and years later people have come up to me and said ‘Hey I have your collage on my wall it makes me smile’. So it’s kinda cool,” Morgan said.

She attended some of art workshops ELAN hosted this term where members got together to make art. For her, they were more about the process of creating the artwork in a group setting than the final result of the art itself.

“When you attend something, arts and culture related, it’s something you share with other people,” Morgan said. “Especially something like a group experience. Its time based. It happens once and it happens with everyone there and then it’s done and you can’t ever repeat it. Just like a piece of art, you can reproduce it but you can’t redo the exact process again.”

In addition to artwork, Morgan has a weekly radio show called Radio Glitterpie on Campus Radio KWVA every Thursday morning from 8 to 10 a.m. She plays mostly electric mix music.

Originally from Wyoming, Morgan got her undergrad at Centre College in Kentucky and has studied abroad in France and Indonesia. She said her travels have helped to shape her artwork and music.

“I think anybody who is in a creative endeavor is bringing all that they are inside,” Morgan said. “I think it’s important to find things in life that are beautiful or that challenge you or that make you feel things. I think music and are really unique thing that you can’t in other places in life.”

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