We Have Lift Off

Alexander Gent
agent@lc.edu

Former Lewis and Clark grads’ careers in magazine publishing are beginning to take off.

Warm Soda Magazine once again invited the Riverbend Area to take a look at and even purchase the work of local artists March 2 at Jacoby Arts Center on Broadway in Alton as part of their “Launch Party”.

From 1pm to 5pm patrons viewed the gallery and were offered a chance to participate by voting for a “crowd favorite” while viewing merchandise for sale.

Merch included: stickers for $2, posters for $7, tee shirts for $15, and in an attempt to offer a conscientious green alternative “upcycled” tee shirts” were $10. The idea behind “upcycled” tee shirts is to recycle t-shirts from Goodwill and have local artists involved adorn them with art in an effort to reduce waste and cost.

The intent of the exhibition and launch party was to announce the release of the first issue of Warm Soda Magazine the following Friday, March 8.

The magazine will be free and available on the website at www.warmsodamag.com. According to Shelby Clayton, LC graduate and former Bridge staff member, the website has been up and running for a little more than a year.

A podcast production began in February with two episodes available at the website and Spotify. There are currently plans to produce a third episode.

“It’s about art, music, and culture, “ said contributing writer and artist, Hanna Berglund. “We want to create a more personable experience for listeners to hear about the background story of local artists and what they do.”

Warm Soda Magazine is tentatively planning the release of paper issues of the magazine in early 2020. Plans for distribution and covering costs of publication are in the works.

The magazine also plans to offer advertising in the future.

Other LC Alumni were present at the show working or enjoying art.

Helping at the merchandise stand and elsewhere was Radio Broadcast Alumni, Jacob Watters.

“I volunteered to man the table because I wanted to help out the magazine,” said Watters, also a former program director for WLCA 89.9. “I’m just here to look pretty and sell stuff.”

Another Lewis and Clark Alumni in attendance, Christopher Gent, was happy to comment on the exhibition as a whole, “It was great art, the subject matter was thought provoking and it was fun to experience.”

Winner of the “Best in Show” contest went to a 24” x 20” oil on wood canvas, titled “Baron von Bunny” by Amy Williams. She also took home “crowd favorite” with her oil on canvas submission titled “Sir Milkshakes” although she wasn’t actually present to accept the awards.

While these particular pieces were not for sale there were plenty of other submissions for sale. Some pieces even asking for upwards of $200.

Lauren Leady, Lewis and Clark alum, was present and had a hand in the event as well as helping to co-found the magazine with Clayton.

Since its creation, Warm Soda Magazine has continuously  made efforts to create and foster an environment that helps talent within the artistic and musical scenes around the Riverbend community grow and have an avenue for publication.

The evidence of this has been especially visible at Jacoby Arts Center. Warm Soda has been great with volunteering help at gallery events and successful with drawing “younger folks” in as well as the community at large according to operations manager Stacey Larson.

“I’ve enjoyed collaborating with them and their use of our community gallery with their curated shows” said Larson.

In true fashion of the brand’s image, after the exhibition the real party got started, with patrons and Riverbend residents being invited back to the gallery for a rock show, fulfilling their commitment to the culture of art and music.

Admission was $10 with doors opening at 6:30pm, the show starting at 7pm, with beer and concessions available as well. The lineup of local talent included Cal Stevens, “Superfun Yeah Yeah Rocketship”, and “Biff K’Narly and the Reptilians”.

Anyone interested in contributing to the magazine in any way or just interested in following along may do so by visiting www.warmsodamag.com. Stay tuned for more to come.

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