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Encounters hosts release party to celebrate student art and magazine’s publication

Courtesy of Encounters Magazine’s Facebook page

Encounters Magazine held its release party in the Mishkin Gallery on Dec 12. Every semester, students send their submissions to the magazine in hopes of being included in the semiannual production.

The theme of the magazine’s spread this semester is reminiscent of the iPhone’s dark mode, according to Hannah Lee, the magazine’s managing editor. The layout is largely printed in black and white.

This semester, Baruch College students Paripada Rungseenapakorn, Ataisha Atkinson, Justin Yu and Tiquan Ewell were featured on the magazine’s cover for submitting the highest-rated pieces.

The featured artists also got their own individual spreads profiling their work and contributions to the artistic community.

At the release party, Violet Webster, Encounters editor and podcast producer, thanked the Mishkin Gallery for allowing the magazine’s event to take place there and later unveiled the magazine to the public.

Rafeed Hossain performed, and then copies were distributed to the event’s attendees. It was Hossain’s second time holding a show at an Encounters event. His performance included his own original music and songs yet to be heard by the public.

“I’m dropping a mixtape next March; it’s going to be the first of three that I’m planning on recording,” Hossain said after performing. “Each song I performed today have a story behind them, I picked them for a reason, and they all mean a lot to me. They’re genuinely and truly who I am and what I feel, and I feel like that’s what’s missing in the art world.”

Just as Hossain’s music mainly deals with heartbreak and acceptance, Encounters tries to parallel the same sentiments.

“This semester, our magazine featured stories mainly about love,” Encounters Editor-in-Chief David Betancur said.

Students utilize self-expression in all forms as a coping mechanism, which comes through in their art.

“Poetry and expressing myself is what I hold dear in my heart. It’s important for me to stay authentic and enliven my passion,” Carolina Dicarlo, the magazine’s social media content manager said. Her pieces “Rebellion” and “Mountain Escape” were also featured in this Encounters issue.

In order to put the magazine together, the magazine’s contributors and its editors worked tirelessly this semester.

“The production team spends months on every design,” magazine photographer Tim Pulster said. “Every single page is specifically mapped out. We all work really hard to get it out and then we give it out for free.”

Not a lot of students know that copies of Encounters are free to all who want them.

“We print 700 copies and our main way of distribution is through events and tabling during club hours,” Betancur said. “People always think you have to pay for them and are left surprised when we tell them it’s free.”

Pulster, a newbie to the team, gave his insight about the diligence of the group.

“I helped along with the portraits,” he said. “Everyone in Encounters is super organized and it was my first semester working with the magazine, although I’ve been following the magazine for a year and a half now.”

At the event, students were in high spirits while networking and enjoying the food offered. Coconut shrimp and salads were served, along with cake pops.

Overall, this end-of-semester event reminded students that the art world is alive and thriving at Baruch. Student artists from all backgrounds were seen connecting and enjoying each other’s presence.

After the show, the Sidney Harman Writer-in-Residence’s Narrative Writing Contest winners were announced. First place was given to Baruch undergrad senior, Erik Kantar for his story about Icelandic sheep and their connection to globalization. He was awarded a $500 prize for the non-fiction piece.

“I didn’t expect to win, all my teachers ever always said that I was a bad writer, so it’s always been a big insecurity of mine,” Kantar admitted. “I’ve actually never let anyone read my writing and this is the first piece I’ve ever submitted so it means a lot to me.”

Editor’s Note: Erik Kantar, the first-place winner of the Sidney Harman Contest is the photography editor of The Ticker.

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