A past tradition has made its way back to Cal Poly: Art Prom.

The Art and Design Department event had been halted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, students have banned together to bring it back to life.

The department’s three clubs, Club 35, Design Lab and Studio Art Club have met once a week for the past seven weeks with adviser Allison Myers to organize, brainstorm and plan the prom, which will take place on Friday, May 26 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the Chumash Auditorium. 

Art Prom was first initiated this year because art and design senior Greg Chan, president of Studio Art Club, first heard of the event from a professor. Chan then brought the idea to Myers to discuss the possibility of having a prom this year for students.

“There aren’t a lot of opportunities for the concentrations to hang out with each other, so Art Prom is an event that allows for broader community engagement in the department,” Myers said. 

Art and design junior and president of Design Lab Audrey Siu said it is hard for art and design students to meet each other and bond, not only through the different concentrations, but also through the individual concentrations themselves.

It is also an opportunity for students to dress up and for seniors who are graduating to have one last social event with their friends and peers. At the event, students will also vote for superlatives and for the best-dressed as a way for students to connect and bond more with their peers and people in their major.

Additionally, it will be a chance for students to have a prom, after many students had their high school prom canceled during the pandemic, Myers said.

Art Prom has always been run by students, Myers said, so the students who are organizing it can develop skill sets that will be useful for them as artists, individuals and for future employment.

“I want them to feel proud of it afterward,” Myers said.

Siu said she’s enhanced her leadership and organizational skills by managing an event that involves different ideas and opinions. Chan said that this process has helped him improve his public speaking skills, as well.

For this event, each club gets a certain task meant to focus on their experience and skill set. For example, Studio Art is in charge of the photo booth, Club 34 is in charge of decorations and Design Lab is in charge of the flier and voting sheet design.

Club 34 is taking more of the lead in organization for the event because they are the social club for art and design, art and design senior and president of Club 34 Marta Lukomska said.

“We want to bring fun back into art and design,” Lukomska said.

Through this experience, she said she has learned more about the importance of outreach, active advertisement, communication and how to manage and plan out meetings with teams and individuals. She also learned about how to delegate tasks and not take on most of the tasks and responsibilities required for planning an event. 

The club is hands-on with making the Art Prom celebrate art as much as possible and incorporating passion for art into the event. They plan on having origami material and markers left on the tables for students so they can draw or create origami themselves. With this event, Lukomska said she wants to bring more attention to Club 34 as well as the Art and Design Department and its presence on campus.

“Art and Design is alive and we need resources,” Lukomska said. “We are doing great things.”

With more attention and acknowledgment for Art Prom, Lukomska said she hopes the department itself will gain more funding and appreciation so they can continue to have more events and resources for students. 

“We need to celebrate art,” Lukomska said.