By Natalie La Roche // Staff Writer
FIU students can expect a fun addition to the art community coming soon. “Sleepwalking” is an art zine where students can submit and display their artwork. It was founded by humanities students Rochelle O’Donnell and Carlos Ascurra with support and guidance from The Humanities Edge and the Department of English.
Different from a magazine, a zine is a self-published work of smaller circulation. The content is either created by an individual person or a group of people. Many zines gather content through submissions from the public, which is what “Sleepwalking” will do with FIU students.
Juniors O’Donnell and Ascurra met through The Humanities Edge, a partnership between FIU and Miami Dade College to guide students academically and maintain their interest in the humanities as they transfer from MDC to FIU. O’Donnell is an English major, and Ascurra is an art history major, but they come together in their love for art.
“This [idea] evolves from a very deep passion and appreciation for visual media,” said O’Donnell.
The purpose of “Sleepwalking” is to be a space where students can share their art, even if they aren’t pursuing it as a major. Many students are creatives even if their art isn’t their career of choice, and they have the same right to share their work with others.
“We kind of wanted to remove the stigma from it,” O’Donnell said. “You don’t have to be an art major to submit a painting, you don’t have to be an English major to submit a piece of writing.”
Essentially, “Sleepwalking” is for students, by students. Being student-run makes it more accessible to anyone that would like to participate, as there is no bureaucratic set of requirements.
“They’ll appreciate that it’s also coming from students,” Ascurra said. “There is no hierarchy here.”
That accessibility is what the zine is all about. Even if a person doesn’t label themselves as an artist, they are still a person creating art and deserving of having a space to share that in, said Ascurra.
“There’s… people out there that want to share their work and that perhaps feel that there isn’t really a platform out there for them to share their work with others,” said Ascurra.
Another contributing factor to “Sleepwalking’s” closeness to students is how it will be distributed. Instead of printing the art work in physical copies, the artwork will be published on a website. Pamphlets with a QR code that leads to the zine will be distributed around campus.
“If it’s on your phone, then it’s bookmarked,” said O’Donnell. “You can always come back to it much easier than you would an actual, physical print.”
“Sleepwalking” has already garnered support from the FIU community. O’Donnell said that seeing the outreach surpassed her imagination for the project, adding that it is a pleasure to see.
“Sleepwalking’s” first issue will make its debut in the Fall 2022 semester.