New zine led by Azalea Danes ’24 puts arts back in liberal arts

Azalea+Danes+24+hopes+to+create+a+space+for+student+expression+with+the+new+zine.+

Photo by Emma Sylvester

Azalea Danes ’24 hopes to create a space for student expression with the new zine.

As she sat in a cubicle during her mundane office job last summer, Azalea Danes ‘24 found herself drawing to pass the time. What started as scribbles on a page manifested into a new zine that encourages everyone to make time for artistic creation. 

The zine, a small publication of original work, will feature all kinds of student-made mixed media work. According to Danes, any type of submission or artistic vision is fair game for being published.  

“People had great ideas about sheet music, QR codes to songs they’ve written and doing poetry and multimedia artworks based off of people’s music,” Danes said. “There’s been an idea for crochet pages and covers.” 

The first meeting to discuss the zine was held on Sept. 13 in the basement of Soles Hall. Danes and potential contributors introduced themselves and discussed ideas for the publication as a group. 

“There was an overwhelming response from a lot of artists in the community about being really excited to create outside of the constraints of our classes,” Danes said. 

The details of the first issue are still being decided by members of the group, but the theme will be pieces inspired by frogs and toads.

Danes and the zine’s members are currently in the process of receiving submissions from students and reviewing them. At meetings, the group will workshop the pieces together and decide which ones get included through a voting process. 

“The whole point is for it to be as democratic and inclusive as possible,” Danes said. “Everyone gets to decide what gets into it. It’s not my zine.”

The zine is being referred to as “Unnamed Zine” for the time being. According to Danes, she wants a decision to be made collaboratively, similar to other aspects of the group.

“I really hope that it’s more of a friendly space than any sort of formal, stodgy club,” Danes said.

While the group has not yet been able to register as an official club, Danes said that she would ideally like to produce the first publication by mid-October, and have one or two more issues released by the end of the semester. 

The mode of publication is currently up in the air, but Danes is interested in looking into self-publication if needed. A goal of hers is to limit the need for students to pay to read. 

Ultimately, the zine is meant as an artistic outlet for all students interested in creating, especially those who are not directly involved in the arts on campus. For Danes, who is pursuing a dual degree in international affairs and philosophy, carving out specific time to invest in art is difficult with her courses. 

“It’s a lot easier for people to have the motivation to take time to create in their busy schedules if they have something that they’re doing it for, and a community that they are contributing to,” Danes said.

“Part of it is putting the arts back in the liberal arts,” she said. 

Danes is looking forward to cultivating a collaborative community on campus where people can create and have their work published on their terms. As she leaves to study abroad in the spring semester, she hopes that there will be enough motivation and interest to continue with the zine in the future. 

“I haven’t been so excited about something in a really long time,” Danes said. 

Those who are interested in submitting their work can reach out to Danes at [email protected] 

The group will continue to meet on Tuesdays at 5 p.m. in the basement of Soles Hall. Further information about meetings and publications can be found on the zine’s official Instagram @unnamedzine_.