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CCU Atheneum: Paul Olsen, professor of art and adviser for Archarios for 25 years, with editors Alison Lane and Theresa Calabrese.
Paul Olsen, professor of art and adviser for Archarios for 25 years, with editors Alison Lane and Theresa Calabrese.

Eighty awards later, Archarios turns 25

by Rebecca Cwalina
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Archarios, the annual student-run art and literature magazine of Coastal Carolina University, is celebrating its 25th anniversary in spring 2016. Over the years, the magazine has won over 80 national awards, including Best of Show in 2015 from the Associated Collegiate Press/College Media Advisors.

To celebrate Archarios’ 25th anniversary, Paul Olsen, the faculty adviser, and his staff are planning a pre-publication party in the spring. He plans to download all 25 issues of Archarios onto jump drives for the alumni and provide custom-made T-shirts as well. He’s also planning to have a special pre-publication party this year when winners are announced.

Staff is counting down the days until the first submissions week this year, which is Nov. 2 through the 6, and everyone is encouraged to enter their work. As anxious as they are to see the submissions, they’re even more excited to get the magazine out, which will be distributed on Cino Day, Friday, April 22.

It’s hard to believe that Archarios is already celebrating its 25th anniversary, but it’s harder to believe that Olsen is retiring as adviser. Archarios’ first editor, Suzanne Viscarra, approached the newly hired Olsen in 1989 to advise the magazine. He was the best candidate for the job as he was hired at CCU that year to start the graphic design and photography programs.

He remembers his first issue in 1990 vividly, though that could be because he keeps at least three copies of every issue on a shelf in his office.

“Back then, we were putting ideas up on a board. Everything was done by hand,” Olsen said. “Our second issue won a national award, and it was only two colors, black and red.”

Olsen believes that the interaction between art and English students was more pronounced when he first started. Now that the campus is larger, it’s harder for the disciplines to communicate. Archarios has been a way for the two to combine talents and make something great.

A good representation of this combination lies within Archarios’ editor and art director’s friendship and teamwork. Alison Lane, junior English major and editor of Archarios, and Theresa Calabrese, junior graphic design major and art director, had only just met through Archarios when receiving their positions, but they have become very close and developed a team that helps the publication prosper.

“There’s only success if things are split 50/50,” Lane said. “No one is in charge of anyone, we work together equally to produce the best quality. Literature is just as important as art and vice versa.”

Both Lane and Calabrese fell in love with the magazine, recognizing how it helps boost the confidence of the students as underclassmen.

“I got a sculpture of mine into the magazine when I was a freshman, and I was just so proud of that,” Calabrese said. “It gave me so much confidence in my art, and I know it’s done that for other students as well. It’s uplifting, being a part of something that can have that effect on people.”

“It validates the quality of creative students we have at this school,” Olsen said about the magazine. “I love to see students produce something they’re proud of and that the school is proud of.”

Of course, Lane and Calabrese will miss Olsen very much, but they just might miss taking chocolates out of the bowl on his desk a little bit more.

“I’m happy he’s taking time for himself and his family,” Lane said. “It’s been so great getting closer to him and having him as a mentor figure. He encourages us, pushes us, but most importantly, supports us. He gives us the freedom and motivation to run the publication on our own. It’s very bittersweet.”

Calabrese remembers having Olsen as a professor her freshman year. “It’s okay to not know what you want to do right now, you’ll figure it out,” he said to her class. Hearing that from an accomplished professor made her feel relaxed instantly.

Olsen has confidence that Archarios’ new adviser, Jacob Cotton, assistant professor of graphic design, will give the magazine fresh ideas. He believes his personality and professionalism will be reflected in the magazine.

“I will miss it, though,” Olsen admitted. “It’s been great being a part of a vehicle that gives students confidence and something to be proud of. They get to say that their work has been in an award-winning magazine against schools like University of South Carolina and the University of South California. It’s nice to have something you’re proud of.”

 

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