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Students say social media expresses character, identity as new art form

Students say social media expresses character, identity as new art form
Holly Howe, a junior nursing major at Westminster college, takes pictures of her stickers for Instagram in the Bassis Center for Centers Feb. 13. Howe said she designs stickers that have been inspired by art she’s seen through social media. (Alexys Smith)

Moving into a new generation of art and all the categories that come with it, students at Westminster College are seeing social media become its own art form. 

Expression of character and identity is shown through many artistic platforms, one of those being social media. 

Shelby Volosin, an Instagram famous first-year student on Westminster’s campus, said social media is allowing artists from all categories to express their artistic style through social media platforms. But, she said not all social media platforms are art. 

“People are becoming a lot more open about being willing to share themselves,” Volosin said. “Social media is an easy way to share your art because it is not as vulnerable because you are not really seeing the people in real life. I feel like it is easy to show your creativity through social media.” 

Volosin said some social media platforms, like Instagram, are becoming art because it allows users to display artistic characteristics. 

“I do consider my Instagram profile to be art because the way I frame my pictures is fun,” Volosin said. “It is photography, more or less.”

Though social media is becoming an art form, some students point out there are other levels to practice this concept of art. 

Holly Howe, a junior nursing student, designs her own stickers to sell. She said she receives inspiration from her Instagram news feed. 

“Social media is an online platform to share things with the world,” Howe said. 

Howe said Instagram itself is becoming an art form because creativity can be expressed through stylized and themed social media pages.

“You see people’s Instagram pages and the colors are dynamic or they have a certain theme going on and that could be a category,” Howe said. 

There are several ways to approach creating art through social media, Howe said. Some create the app itself as the art or use it as an opportunity to promote their work. 

“I think it is interesting to watch social media become its own art entity,” Howe said. “People have social media accounts that look a certain away and that is their art. Or, you could post your art on social media.”

Art forms and techniques are changing the way some people approach social media, some Westminster students said. Especially as social networks are being treated as a continuous art project. 

Cheye Galloway, a first-year student studying art, said art evokes emotion because it allows for expression. 

“Art is an expression of oneself through visual or auditory-visual means,” Galloway said. “To me, art is just something that someone creates and it […] expresses something or it describes something.”

This newly-found method of sharing art is important, Galloway said. It gives users more options to share their experiences or emotions than just the traditional approaches. 

“It is turning into its own art form because people are taking it a lot more seriously,” Galloway said. “[They’re] using it as a different way to express themselves than drawing or painting.”

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Alexys Smith
Alexys Smith is a junior planning to graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in communication. Alexys enjoys bringing people's stories to life through video production, photography and writing. She works with the Dumke Center for Civic Engagement and is the treasurer of the film club at Westminster. In her free time you can find her dancing, taking a tap or analyzing a film.

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