“All Art is Propaganda”: Seniors Publish Newest Poly Arts Journal


via Jesse Walk

Seniors Aiden Malanaphy, Jesse Walk and Eva Baron in the art hallway. The team curated and produced this year's Poly Arts Journal.

Senior Eva Baron leaned into the screen of the computer in front of her.

“There’s this George Orwell quote,” Baron said as she fiddled with the document she had open. “‘All art is propaganda.’ That is the theme of this year’s Poly Arts Journal.”

Baron, who came to Poly when she was a freshman, began working as an editor of the Poly Arts Journal when she was a sophomore. Now the staff consists of her, senior Jesse Walk, and senior Aiden Malanaphy. Together, they curated, edited and produced this year’s journal.

“This is the first year the team has been this small,” continued Baron. “I think it has been harder with such a small team. We struggled with organization. But in a way it has given us liberty to do more of what we want to do.”

“It took longer than we would have liked,” said Walk. “We wanted to make two journals but that did not work out [because of the size of our staff]. We faced a lot of troubles this year. All our advisers left. [But] I kind of liked keeping it small,” Walk said. “Poly did not censor us, which was nice.”

This year’s Poly Arts Journal will be in full color and is 70 pages long. According to Baron, no other Poly Arts Journal  has been printed in full color before.

“We didn’t like that it wasn’t all in color [in the past],” said Baron. “It was kind of boring. Last year’s journal was really rushed and there was an unfair distribution of whose art was included. It was important for us to incorporate the own art that [the staff] created with the art of other students.”

This year’s journal will also incorporate full page spreads, which will give the art the space it needs. Baron, Walk and Malanaphy have also produced stickers of some of the most stand-out works in the collection that will be distributed with the books.

Walk, the self proclaimed “head of stickers,”  felt as though this component held a very important role in the transformation of the journal.

“Hopefully it will get more people to read and submit next year,” Walk said. “It helps with advertisement too–there’s some connection there, with the theme [of art as propaganda] and being able to put up stickers around the school.”

In the editor’s letter that prefaces the collection, the staff talks about their reasoning behind their theme of this year’s journal.

Propaganda can be used as a tactic to mislead and hurt. It has also been used to inform and to create disruptions, movements,” the letter reads. “Perhaps the word ‘propaganda’ carries too much stigma to define an art form that speaks so politically, that questions authority, that stands in opposition to what we see as ‘traditional.’”