Renewing the arts: The Mountain Laurel 2015 reveal and awards ceremony

 Editor-in-Chief of The Mountain Laurel, Hannah Smith, triumphantly displays the  2015 issue at the reveal party. Photo by Victoria Pujdak

Editor-in-Chief of The Mountain Laurel, Hannah Smith, triumphantly displays the  2015 issue at the reveal party. Photo by Victoria Pujdak

Victoria Pujdak, Staff Writer

Anticipation hung in the air as a crowd of students and teachers waited with bated breath for the reveal of North Greenville University’s annual literary magazine "The Mountain Laurel." 

On Thursday, April 16, "The Mountain Laurel" staff gathered with fellow artisans to celebrate the culmination of a year’s work and to honor the arts. The magazine is dedicated to being a platform for student poets, writers and artists to communicate their talents with the school. 

The ceremony began with a few brief remarks from NGU English Professor Cheryl Collier in which she challenged the students to continue with their endeavors in the arts. 

“I hope and pray that your writing will not stop here. Don’t let life get in the way of your art,” said Collier. 

The evening proceeded with comments from the literary staff and the presentation of awards to various winners in the literary and art categories. The height of the evening was the reveal of the new cover for the 2015 issue of The Mountain Laurel

Prompted by the roll of artificial drumbeats by the audience, the new issue was unveiled. The theme for this year’s magazine was “renew” conceptualized by Editor-in-Chief, Hannah Smith. 

“The idea first came to me from John 15. The idea of a seed and how a tree can branch out of it,” said Smith. 

The room was soon filled with the tantalizing smell of new books as copies were presented to each member of the audience. 

After the ceremony, the audience retired to a reception in the lobby of the Craft-Hemphill Center. The evening concluded with literary readings and art presentations. 

In 1964, the first renderings of "The Mountain Laurel" was formed in a slight booklet of poetry. Over the years, "The Mountain Laurel" has continuously improved with each issue to include three media of art and new design innovations. 

"The Mountain Laurel" staff welcomes any students willing to join their ranks. Many who have worked on the staff, such as art editor, Naomi King, have enjoyed their service on the magazine. 

“As a senior, it was a joy working for 'The Mountain Laurel,'” said King. 

Since 2007, Deborah DeCiantis has been the dedicated adviser of "The Mountain Laurel." DeCiantis strongly encourages students to submit their art to the magazine each year. 

“I can’t continue to echo, please contribute your art. It truly makes the world a better place,” said DeCiantis, a professor of English at NGU.

Free copies of "The Mountain Laurel" can be obtained on the second level floor of White Hall outside of  DeCiantis' office.