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UWGB faculty, students get their pink on

Whitney Robertson, Contributor
November 14, 2012
Filed under Entertainment

“Every year, something incredible happens,” said Alison Gates, textiles professor and chair of the art department.

This year, that something is incredibly pink. Participating in Pink Week has been a tradition of the UW-Green Bay art department for the past nine years. It’s a celebration to pay homage to the color pink.

Pink Week takes place the week of Nov. 12. It celebrates the color pink, not for breast cancer awareness or gender implications but simply enjoying the hue giving color to everything from piglets, to lollipops and roses.

Gioria Fonda, artist and professor at Sacramento City College, created Pink Week in 1993. What began as a simple form of self expression has grown into a worldwide festivity in which pink is worn, eaten, touched, smelled and listened to just to enjoy the color.

“Pink week for me is a pure celebration of color for color’s sake,” Gates said. “It takes pink from being overly feminized and makes it gender neutral. As a feminist and former chair of women’s and gender studies, I think gendering of colors is really odd. In ancient times, pink was only for boys. So during Pink Week, pink is for all who are attracted to it, without baggage.”

UWGB’s Pink Week festivities have generally remained in the Studio Arts building, including special pink galleries and class-wide projects. This year, however, there are plans for pink art to spread across campus.

Lindsey Przybylski, senior design arts major, is one of seven intermediate and advanced textiles students working in an outdoor yarn bomb that will be installed on the Cofrin Library plaza. They hope more than just art students will enjoy the yarn art bomb.

“This will be my fourth time participating in Pink Week,” Przybylski said. “To me, Pink Week means sharing my love of making art. It’s exciting to see the art students and faculty coming together to turn as many things pink as we can to show our passion for art.”

Celebrating Pink Week is not just  for art students, however.

“Anyone can participate in Pink Week,” Gates said, “by wearing pink, or by planning pink activities like eating pink food such as ham, cotton candy, cupcakes, strawberry ice cream, drinking pink drinks and chewing bubble gum. Do anything you’d normally do, only choose the pink option.”

According to Pink Week’s official website, celebrating a color for color’s sake gives people a reason to get together and create something. It also provides escape from life’s responsibilities and a chance to live in the moment by simply observing the environment.

Not everyone enjoys the color pink, but there are ways to celebrate a week devoted to it even if a person doesn’t like pink. Consciously avoiding all pink or choosing a different color to celebrate, such as blue or brown, are ways. The ideal way to celebrate Pink Week, however, is to release all preconceptions of what pink implies in our culture and embrace it for what it is — the color pink.

“It’s a pretty happy color from the warm side of the color wheel, and November is always so gray,” Gates said. “Pink comes in so many variations, from deep magenta to pale blush, and conveys every emotion from passionate heat to fresh innocence. I really wish each color had its own week. People don’t pay enough attention to colors as individual entities.”

So why pink? Well, why not?