Four Indiana University of Pennsylvania students have created Blood is Also Red, an online portfolio for students to post original forms of art.
“It’s going to be an online art gallery for original work of all kinds, including music, videos, short stories, poems, pictures, drawings – really anything,” Vincent “Sonny” Smarra, (junior, English) one of the creators, said.
Michael Hadfield (senior, English), Austin Winberg (sophomore, business management) and Tristan Weaver (sophomore, communications media) are the other three creators of the website.
“We feel like, with IUP, everything is crimson: the Crimson Café, CrimsonConnect, Crimson Commons,” Smarra said. “But everything is also red: blood and originality, which we feel is sometimes forgotten.”
The creators are looking to build more content for the site before its official launch date in a few weeks.
“It’s in the works right now. We’re looking to launch within the next three weeks,” Hadfield said. “We’re just kind of working out the kinks right now on the technical side.”
“We’re also in the process of getting a bunch of content from artists. We want to make sure we have original content stock piled so that at no point our website will be lacking.”
The main purpose of the site is to help IUP artists build a portfolio.
Once an artist contributes to the site, his or her name will be put into an archive so their work is forever accessible, the creators explained.
“We want to develop constant contributors,” Smarra said. “We want to make a community with a bunch of artists who work together to build themselves up.”
Hadfield explained his reasoning as to why he was eager to join and help create the site.
“What really got me on board is that I’m frustrated with the fact that I have a million poems and short stories on my computer, and I’m sick of no one reading them,” he said. “I hope that through this channel, I can gain some sort of acknowledgement.”
Smarra created posters for the website and hung them around various buildings and boards around campus.
“Basically, the poster just has a little poem on it with blood splatter and the email Bloodisalsored@gmail.com,” he said.
“We felt like it was just enough to make someone interested and a little intrigued as to what we are.”
The team said there will be a lot of promotional activity in the next few weeks to help spread the word about the site.
“Before we launch, we’re going to throw out a bunch of ideas to grab people’s attention, so keep an eye out,” Weaver said.
Weaver explained the idea for the collaborative website, which is to have as many people involved as possible.
“We’re just looking for a place where we can collectively put our work, and to meet with other people that are like-minded like us,” he said. “We want to try to work together to create something that’s not just our own, but something that is a collective community outreach.”
Anyone who posts their artwork will have complete creative control. However, contributors will not have their own accounts on the site.
Contributors can submit their content through the website’s Gmail, where the creators will post the artist’s work to that specific person’s archive.
“We just want to make sure everything is original and tasteful,” Hadfield said.
“If the artist has a reason for it, if the artist believes in the purpose and they can explain it, then we feel it’s fine to put on the site. Art is art,” Smarra added.
The creators are adamant that the art added to the site is 100 percent the artists’ own work.
“All artists retain property of their own work. Just because they post on our site doesn’t mean we claim their work. We just want a place for everyone to be able to put their art,” Smarra said.
If contributors even have as much as a spelling or grammatical error, the creators will work in direct contact with the artist so that their work remains their own.
“It’s a workshop as well, it’s people helping people here,” Hadfield said. “That’s our goal.”
“This is a free online portfolio,” Hadfield and Smarra explained. “We don’t want anything from anyone. We just ask that you work and do what you love, and get better at it with us.”
An informational meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Oct. 14 in the Stapleton Library for students who are interested in contributing to the site.