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Published April 13, 2024

Artists Collected kicks off with tarot cards

UMN-based student group works to provide an opportunity for artists.
Image by Marie Ronnander (courtesy)
Members of Artists Collected are encouraged to design their own tarot card in this semester’s artistic project.

About three weeks ago, University of Minnesota art students and friends Nora Hitchcock and Rebecca Pirko sat down to talk about their class and future goals when they both realized they wanted to make their own tarot deck. 

From the conversation, Artists Collected was born and is now a student group displaying artwork from University students.

“We realized that we both, in our long-term goals, we want to make our own tarot deck,” Hitchcock said. “So we were like, let’s just make one together and divide up the cards. It just kept snowballing, I guess – let’s involve more people, let’s make it a student organization.” 

Hitchcock said the group is an “artist hub for projects led by artists for artists.” 

While this semester’s focus for the group is to create a tarot deck, Hitchcock said it is just the start, with new projects happening each semester. 

Along with designing tarot cards, Artists Collected will also host weekly “art jams” where artists can come together and collaborate, share supplies and give each other feedback. 

At their first meeting on Friday, students interested in joining introduced themselves and got the chance to learn more about the group. 

Marie Ronnander, a third-year student designing two cards for the tarot deck, said when she first came to campus, she wanted to join an art group but never found one. 

“This looked like something that was really easy to be a part of, and the way that Nora has organized it makes it easy to actually participate in it, which is really nice,” Ronnander said. 

Lily Dodge is a second-year student working as the advertising lead for Artists Collected. She said she has always been interested in tarot and thought the group sounded like a cool way to be artistic. 

“I’m not [an artist],” Dodge said. “I’m a neuroscience major, but I used to do a lot more art when I was in high school and stuff so I was like it would be so fun to have like a little thing to have fun with on the side.” 

Dodge added she is looking forward to meeting new people, and “so far, the vibe is so cute.”

“It’s a space for all levels of art, which I think is really cool,” Dodge said. “You can come to what makes sense to you, what fits. Regardless of your major, what your talents are, you have a place here.” 

Jimena Jimenez, a third-year engineering student, said she missed the creativity that art provides. 

“Going into engineering is such a technical field, I don’t get to use all the creativity and I really missed it,” Jimenez said. “I heard about the opportunity and I said, ‘Let’s get back onto it.’”

Jimenez added she is excited to connect with a lot of different people and to explore her creativity. She said college can be a busy time, and art can help with academics. 

“With these things, it can help you break out of that academic tunnel vision,” Jimenez said. “Full send it. If you have a curiosity, then go for it.” 

Emilio Escobedo is a third-year art student who is interested in joining Artists Collected for the community. 

“Artists kind of can become the ‘single genius,’” Escobedo said. “That’s a lie. Everyone around here is going to end up helping each other, I guarantee you that’ll happen.” 

Escobedo added he is hoping to add something “neat and cool looking” to his portfolio.

“I would say this is a good group and this is a group that I guarantee is going to flourish and cause you to flourish the more time you spend around it,” Escobedo said. 

Hitchcock said the biggest challenge so far has been the student organization process and figuring out grants and funding. 

“We want to give artists a profit, so we’re trying to do that without making the University upset,” Hitchcock said. 

Hitchcock added she is most excited to meet new people, as it is hard to make friends in classes where people hyperfocus on their work and do not talk to anyone. 

According to Hitchcock, 30 people have filled out a Google-interest form for the group and they gain more Instagram followers by the day. 

“The group is how you make it,” Hitchcock said. “You can design cards, be an executive member, be at every single fundraiser and all that, or you can just come to one or two art jams and make one card.” 

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