Loomings offers opportunity for students to express creativity

Eight of the ten Loomings issues that Dr. Michael Stigman acted as faculty advisor to help produce located in his office. Photo by Mary Elsen.

By Mary Elsen, The Circuit.

Benedictine College offers students an outlet for their creativity via the art magazine, Loomings.

According to Benedictine.edu, “Loomings, finds its home in the English department, which provides funding for four annual writing awards featured in the magazine.

Volunteer student editors compile into an exciting, color-filled showcase some of the Benedictine community’s best prose and poetry and studio and photographic art.”

Dr. Michael Stigman, associate professor of English, has been the faculty advisor to the magazine since 2007. During his ten years as advisor, he has had the chance to research and witness the magazine evolve into what students see today.

Stigman explained that prior to the merging of Mount St. Scholastica and St. Benedict’s College, both schools individually published art magazines.

However, in 1968, the two separate art magazines merged into what students now know as Loomings.  In 1971, the two colleges merged to form Benedictine College and Loomings lives on today.

Stigman took on the role of faculty advisor in fall 2007, when everything except the cover was printed in black and white.  The layout process was accomplished by physically arranging elements on a page and scanning them for the print.

According to Stigman, in 2008, the BC Foundation gave a grant to Loomings and in turn that money was used to print the magazine in full-color.  It was also the first year a digital platform was used to layout the pages.

Today, the magazine continues to be printed annually in the spring after months of gathering artwork and editing.

Each year, Stigman works with Christa Kagin, chair of the art department, to select the new editors.  He sends Kagin the applications for the art and layout editors, while he chooses the poetry, prose and general editors.

After having an initial meeting with the editors, deadlines are scheduled and the process of forming an art magazine begins.

“In the fall, we’re basically trying to raise peoples’ awareness of the magazine, so that we’re sure they know Loomings exists and then we start asking for submissions to the magazine,” Stigman said.

According to Stigman, once the submission deadline hits, the editors gather the materials and send them off to be anonymously judged and scored.  Those with the highest scores receive awards either from the Loomings magazine or from the English Department itself and earn a spot in the magazine. The remaining space is filled at the discretion of the editors.

Senior English major, Carleigh Garcia, is the general editor for Loomings and has been involved since her sophomore year.

Upon completion of the magazine, a release party is held in the spring, Garcia said.

“It’s to inspire people to write and then also to do creative art,” Garcia said. “[It’s also] a way for them to get published before leaving school, so they can put that on their resumes. It also gives people like me a chance to edit what they’ve done.”

“People want to create and people want to share,” Stigman said. “I feel fortunate to be part of the process where people get to create things and then have other people look at them. I think it’s an expression of this creative community here.”

The submission deadline for Loomings this year is Dec. 1. Submissions can be sent to loomings@benedictine.edu.