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"Gallery" Marks 40th Anniversary
June 27, 2013

Walters State Community College’s award-winning literary and arts magazine recently celebrated a milestone. The 2013 issue marked the 40th anniversary of “Gallery.” 

The annual magazine has received awards from the Society for Professional Journalists. For many writers and artists, “Gallery” has provided that important, first publication credit.

Faculty advisor Sarah Eichelman has been involved with the magazine for more than half of its existence. An associate professor of English, she’s worked closely with the student editorial staff since 1986. 

“I jumped on board ‘Gallery’ in 1986 when JoAnn Kell asked me if I would like to be involved. We were co-advisors for many years,” Eichelman said. Kell retired in 2005. She was an associate professor of English. Now, Chippy McLain, head of the college’s English department, assists Eichelman and the student editorial team by serving as technical advisor. 

The magazine has always celebrated both the written word and the visual arts. Many college publications choose to focus on one or the other, Eichelman said.  

“More emphasis is placed on artwork now than in previous years. The technology available now has made a big difference in showcasing artwork. Students have also become more sophisticated, and many are exposed to art at a younger age. Their personal standards are high,” Eichelman said.

Issues also feature digital artwork, an art form that wasn’t even created when “Gallery” published its first issue. Digital artwork is created or altered on a computer with the assistance of software programs like Photoshop. 

Eichelman said that early editions were put together by hand and printed in-house. Now, the publication is created as an electronic publication and printed professionally. That process was too expensive and too time-consuming when the magazine started. Once limited to black-and-white, issues are now full color. 

While the looks of “Gallery” have changed with technology, the quality of the content has remained constant.

“The material has always been good and the writing has always been personal. The writing is often a reflection of personal experiences. Students view writing as a catharsis. In 'Gallery,' students have written about traumatic events like rape and abuse,” Eichelman explained. Eichelman teaches popular creative writing classes at the college.
“Gallery” is distributed in the spring, but the work begins early in the fall when students arrive on campus. The student editorial staff is chosen by October. Staff members immediately begin soliciting submissions from students. In January, the selection process begins. 

Student editors choose every poem or photograph published. An editorial board provides feedback or advice when needed. This year’s editor chose to pay tribute to the magazine’s legacy by including a timeline of previous covers. 
“I am hopeful that the hard work and dedication of our staff is reflected in the literature and art presented in this 40th edition of ‘Gallery,’” said Celeste Rudd, the editor-in-chief for 2012-2013. Rudd is planning to attend art school in the fall. She said she’s honored to have this issue in her portfolio of work.

Other staff members this year were Autumn Johnson, text editor; Courtney Howard, art editor; and Mirandia Harville, design editor. The editor-in-chief receives a full scholarship and other editors receive partial scholarships.

Eichelman praised early advisors Dr. Anne Armstrong and Dr. James Crawford with establishing high standards for a unique student publication. Armstrong retired in 2000 and is a professor emeritus of English. Crawford retired in 2012 as assistant vice president for academic affairs, dean of humanities and professor of English. 

In the picture: “Gallery,” the award-winning literary and arts publication of Walters State Community College, celebrated its 40th edition this year. Above, Celeste Rudd, editor-in-chief, and Sarah Eichelman, faculty advisor to the magazine, show the 2013 issue. Rudd, an art major, earned her associate’s degree in May and plans to attend an arts school this fall.