News Releases

It takes a university to build a great publication: Students reimagine Lander's art and literary magazine

April 09, 2009
Review Poster
The staff of Lander's art and literature magazine solicited submissions for the Review through a series of posters. Pictured is a poster with assistant editor, Gene Ellenberg's face superimposed on the Mona Lisa. The publication will be released during a reception at Sundance Gallery in Uptown Greenwood, Thursday, April 16, at 6 p.m.
A poster soliciting submissions for the Review, Lander University's art and literature magazine reads "Submit now or the Man-o-Lisa gets published." A graphic to the left shows the face of da Vinci's Mona Lisa replaced by that of the Review's assistant editor - who, it so happens, is a guy. But perhaps more noticeable is the large red "R" resting in the hands of the subject. This "R" has been at the core of a months-long effort, involving Lander faculty, staff and students from across campus and curricula. The process has culminated in the "new" Review.

The publication process began last summer when Jon Holloway and Jim Slagle, Lander assistant professors of art, approached Dr. Robert Stevenson, Lander associate professor of mass communication and director of student publications, to see what they could do to help showcase student art and literature through the Review. Subsequently, Slagle and Holloway became faculty coordinators for the art and design portions of the publication. Dr. Misty Jameson, Lander assistant professor of English, and Virginia Dumont-Poston, associate professor of English, were brought on as faculty coordinators for the literary elements of the magazine.

"These faculty were all enthusiastic about making the Review a professional looking publication," said Stevenson.

This excitement only increased when the student publications committee hired a talented and ambitious editor, who in turn put together a creative and hardworking staff.

Michelle Amerine
Lander University student Michelle Amerine of Mount Pleasant is the current editor of Lander's art and literature magazine, the Review.
The students are: Michelle Amerine of Mount Pleasant, editor; Gene Ellenberg of Hodges, assistant editor; Vitaly Odemchuk of Anderson, art director; and Brock Scott of Greenwood, literary director.

"The students involved have done an excellent job," said Stevenson. "As a result, there is now increased participation, and I hope an improved perception of the Review. I think more people are going to want to be a part of it."

In fact, more people have already become a part of the process of creating the publication. The student staff sought guidance, assistance and funding from Lander's offices of Admissions, University Advancement, University Relations and Publications, Printing Services and Web Based Communications. The campus locksmith even provided the group with locks for their submission boxes. The publication is funded primarily by Lander's Office of Student Affairs.

"A lot of people were willing to help us," said Amerine. "None of the departments who helped were hesitant to offer their assistance. We wanted to make the campus feel like they were all becoming a part of this publication. We wanted people to contribute so they could join us in claiming the magazine as their own."

After winning over various offices on campus with their concept for the Review, the staff turned their attention toward selling the idea of the magazine to student artists and writers. This is the point at which the big red "R" emerged.

Review Staff
Staff and faculty working on the Review, Lander University's art and literature magazine, met almost weekly at Starbucks to hammer out details for the publication. Seated, from left, are: Dr. Misty Jameson, Lander assistant professor of English; Michelle Amerine of Mount Pleasant, Review editor; and Gene Ellenberg of Hodges, Review assistant editor. Standing is Dr. Robert Stevenson, Lander associate professor of mass communication and student publications director.
Review Staff
Jon Holloway, left, Lander University assistant professor of art, and Lander student Brock Scott of Greenwood were among faculty and students who worked to bring the university's student art and literature magazine to fruition.
Through usage of social networking sites such as Facebook, campus communication tools and the old standard, word of mouth, among other things, the students developed a marketing campaign that left no student out of the loop. The red "R" was at the center of all of these efforts.

"If you were a student at Lander you saw the 'R' somewhere," said Odemchuk. "We even asked people to change their profile picture on Facebook to the 'R' after they submitted work so that their friends would see it."

The Review staff even made the "R" into car decals.

"You couldn't go a day without telling somebody about it or someone asking you about it," said Scott.

After pulling out all stops to get the word out, the magazine staff was faced with the big task of collecting the submissions. They gave students numerous drop-off points at every turn.

According to Ellenberg, Review staff members also kept their flash drives with them so they could transfer submissions from students' computers wherever they ran into them.

When the submission deadline had come and gone, the Review staff had received 11 short stories, 36 poems and nearly 247 pieces of art. The works were handed over to judges working in the areas of art and literature. After the judging process, submissions were culled to the 10 poems, five short stories and 29 pieces of artwork that appear in the finished magazine.

Literary submissions were judged by Jenn Blair, Park Hall Fellow at the University of Georgia and teacher of creative writing and British literature; and Amy Alley, local artist and poet and 2003 Lander graduate. Art submissions were judged by Kristen Beals, owner and curator of Trinity Street Market and Gallery; Ivy Ware, programs coordinator for the Greenwood Arts Council; and Jeffrey Callaham, local artist and 1997 Lander graduate.

Once the selections had been made the staff began working on the design of the publication. Professional photos were taken of each of the artworks submitted so that the publication would have a consistent look throughout. The publication itself, gives the reader the feeling of walking through an art gallery or reading a book.

After months of work the publication was sent out for printing, but the staff's efforts didn't stop there. They compiled an outline of the process they went through to complete the Review, so that future students staffing the magazine would be able to use their documented efforts to continue building on the quality and professionalism of the publication.

Review Staff
Vitaly Odemchuk, left, of Anderson and Jim Slagle, Lander University assistant professor of art, worked on the design portion of the Review, Lander's art and literature magazine. Odemchuk served as art director for the publication, and Slagle was a faculty coordinator.
The Review staff is also honoring all of the students who submitted works, even those whose works were not selected for the publication. A digital publication will include at least one work from each artist or writer.

Ultimately the staff hopes these efforts will inspire the same students and more to submit works in the future. For one staff member in particular the magazine is a symbol of how Lander students are growing as artists and writers.

"The magazine isn't just about how the community perceives Lander students, its about how Lander students perceive themselves," said Ellenberg. "Being involved with the magazine will motivate them to put themselves and their artwork out there in other ways and to work harder as artists. Next year we will be watching to see if students are even more motivated after seeing their work in a physical publication."

A release party for the Review will be held at Sundance Gallery in Uptown Greenwood, Thursday, April 16, at 6 p.m. The reception will highlight the works, both literary and artistic, from the magazine. Copies of the publication will also be distributed. For further information contact Lander's College of Arts and Humanities at 864-388-8323.