Last year, students' secrets were displayed in a colorful collage on the SAC Gallery's walls. (EZRA MARGONO)
Last year, students’ secrets were displayed in a colorful collage on the SAC Gallery’s walls. (EZRA MARGONO)

Secrets: they are no fun unless you anonymously write them down on a post-it and see them displayed in the Student Activities Center (SAC) art gallery.

For this Stony Brook Secrets art exhibit, students were encouraged to anonymously write their secrets and put them in boxes around campus. Those secrets will be displayed in the SAC art gallery. The exhibit is not affiliated with the popular Facebook page of the same name.

This year, Arianna Warner, the assistant manager for the SAC gallery and also creator of The Dinosaur Onesie Project, is looking to create community, collaborate with other groups on campus and transform the gallery into an abstract piece of art.

“I think it’s really about bringing people together and giving them a voice on campus,” Warner, a senior studio art major, said. “That’s why we have it where people can submit their secrets anonymously. There’s no stigma about what you say.”

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Warner enjoys that the gallery allows students to see that they are not alone and that others think as they do. She thinks that it will bring about a sense of community.

The show is intended to bring together people of different backgrounds and lifestyles. For some viewers, Stony Brook Secrets will be their first time in a gallery setting.

The Craft Center attracted student secrets by giving away teddy bears that they had accrued over the years. The promotional component also freed up space.

“If we get a new donation, shoot, we’ll give out more,” Warner said.  As of Friday, The Craft Center had given out all of their teddy bears and had more than 300 secrets.

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Along with emphasizing community, the Craft Center is looking to collaborate and show off talents.

“On one hand, there are the secrets on the darker side,” Warner said. “We don’t want to create an environment that is haphazard.”

The Craft Center is partnering with the Center for Prevention and Outreach (CPO), Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) and the Student Activities Board (SAB). CAPS and CPO are providing information about suicide hotlines and LGBT safe spaces. SAB is funding between 65 and 75 percent of the program minus the staffing.

The Out of State Student Association, OOSSA, will be holding an open mic night, and Spoke the Thunder is planning a poetry reading. Warner said she thinks there will also be dances and lectures.

In addition, Tuesdays and Wednesdays will be late nights in the SAC art gallery, staying open until 9 p.m. with free food.

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“It’s an abstract,” Warner said about the ideas for the gallery installation. “It’s not ‘Oh, I’m transforming this into a rainforest.’ It’s going to be something more really visually abstract that will play with the themes of the show.”

While a gallery can be a set of white walls with everything at eye level, the Craft Center is trying to transform the place into something that is not the stereotypical art display. The center will be deciding on a final design of the installation in the next few days.

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