By Nooshig Varjabedian
One of Fitchburg State’s very own students finds artwork produced by other students, creating his very own physical and online magazine. A junior named PJ Carmichael, a professional-writing and professional-communication major as well as the creator of High Tension Magazine, has taken it upon himself to find the work of other students on campus and compile them so other students know what is out there. “The idea to create a magazine with other people’s work came from the influence of punk rock and zines from the 1970’s and 1980’s,” says Carmichael. “I have always been interested in reading, collecting, and showcasing art and writing by young, up-and-coming artists, writers, musicians, and creators.”
There has never been a proper way to show the work of students here. For the Communication Media students Visions is the biggest event on campus that is able to show their work. Visions is an annual juried honors showcase of original student artwork that draws both the campus community, as well as the local Fitchburg community and will be held on April 30th. Unfortunately, not everyone knows about Visions or has the time to go. Sometimes, students do not even know about it and never submit any work. But for the writing majors, no work is ever shown. For people who like to take photographs, paint, or write there is no outlet to exhibit their work. “To initially get material for the magazine, I asked a few friends to contribute poetry and photography for the first issue. In addition, I interviewed a few interesting individuals that I initially discovered via the Internet. After the first issue was printed and distributed, I put out a general call for submissions. Submissions came in from kids around Massachusetts and around the country.”
Fitchburg State University is filled with very creative individuals. The questions is why does a student have to make his own magazine to show this thought, rather than have it shown at school events? Carmichael states, “High Tension aims to showcase artists and writers that may not have the opportunity to get published due to the fact that their work is controversial or obscure, as well as those who are simply unknown or have no formal education or background in art and literature.”
With High Tension well in the making, students have discovered the work that their fellow students have been doing, as well as other people from around the state, and even the country, as Carmichael stated earlier. His own creative side shines through with the creation of this magazine, a place for expression and undiscovered students to showcase their talent.
If you have work that you would like other people to see, or if you know someone who would, get in touch with PJ Carmichael and submit work for High Tension Magazine.