Many, if not all Lawrence students have heard of the colloquialism “the Lawrence Bubble.” The campus is small and can feel like a vacuum of internal events and concerts. It can be easy to slip into familiar routines without ever engaging with the communities that surround the school. This constitutes “the bubble.” Last year, a group of students decided that there was a way to change the attitude around that.
Pop the Bubble is a student-run event series that plays on this colloquialism in an endearing way to showcase their goal: bringing students off campus and allowing them to interact with the greater Appleton community through art. This is done in partnership with The Draw, a local art gallery and collaborative space across the bridge and within walking distance of the Lawrence campus. The first event of the year was held on Friday, Oct. 18, with the theme of “Stories of Home.” The Draw, which houses a combination workspace and offices of digital and fine artists in addition to an art gallery and event space, was just the right venue for such an event, being a halfway point between our school and the surrounding community. Walking in, the event-goers were welcomed by soft lighting and couches that lined the far end of the room. Equipment was set up to accommodate all manner of arts, from music to short films to spoken words. On the walls of The Draw are photographs showcasing Vietnam War veterans as well as plaques detailing their experiences. Throughout the night, eventgoers were invited to share their stories in the form of words or pictures written on sticky notes. It was casual, with participants and observers grabbing drinks as they mingled with friends and explored the exhibit. The mumble of people’s voices added to the warmth of the event’s atmosphere. When the show began, it was soon quiet; a beautiful and charming film piece made by senior Angelica Hurtado ran as a projected backdrop to all the other acts. Sophomores Dominic LaCalamita and Lydia Hellevik duetted on guitar and vocals, respectively, and captivated the audience with a song. Each piece was scattered with memories, and with each act, onlookers were invited to learn more about the talented Lawrentians, becoming closer through these shared experiences. All were invited to think about what home means to them. The pressure was low, and though a set list was assigned for the evening, people were encouraged to join last minute if they felt so inclined.
Evenings like these are rare, and contrary to a typical formal performance in the chapel or concert hall, as the pressure is low and people of all skillsets are invited to be together and share the stories that are important to them. Because Lawrence does have students from far reaches of the country, as well as all over the world, this is a valuable opportunity. Pop the Bubble is a recurring event, so there will be many other chances to attend and see what it’s all about. It is sure to be a pleasant experience, filled with people and acts that can’t be experienced in the same way anywhere else. To keep up with Pop the Bubble, follow their page on Facebook.