The resurrection of the Phoenix


For MATC students past and present, the opportunity to express their creativity will soon be available. The college’s art and literature publication, the Phoenix, will return to print and online in fall 2019.  As for eligibility, “Any member of MATC – past or present – [is] allowed to submit their work.  So, if you ever took a single credit at MATC and were still interested in MATC and wanted to express yourself through the Phoenix, we welcome it,” stated Jason Kolodzyk, MATC English instructor.

Student art of all forms will be eligible for submission to the publication.  Because the only limit on art and creativity is the mind – students are encouraged to submit works of all kinds: writing, drawing, poetry, music, sculpture, fashion, industrial art, or whatever medium you choose to express your creativity. Kolodzyk added, “For example, we had a few students who created art furniture or jewelry; in a case like this we would ask for a digital photo.  It worked well and encouraged art students to attend Open Mic sessions and speak about their art as it was projected on a screen behind them.”

The Phoenix magazine was created around 1968 by MATC students and faculty, to the best of Stephen Turner’s recollection. Turner, now a retired MATC faculty member who started teaching at the college at the age of 27, was instrumental in providing a lifeline to keep the publication alive through the years. The last full print edition of the Phoenix was in spring 2014, and the smaller Phoenix Now publication, which was available in limited supply at MATC libraries and select events, was published in 2015. Turner expressed the importance of fostering a creative outlet for students, saying, “I think it is important for MATC students to have an outlet for their creative efforts, whether that be poetry or prose, fiction or non-fiction. Just because we are largely a vocational institution does not mean that we don’t have creative students. I have encountered many, many creative students at MATC over the years, and I think the college has an obligation to help those students develop their creative powers as much as possible, to provide a showcase for their efforts,” he noted.

After all, we have display cases for trophies won by our athletes; why not a magazine, a display case for our artists and creators?” Turner added.

Students from all programs and disciplines are asked to submit their works, including writing. Turner reflected on the vital skill of writing for all students, adding, “Writing is a very important, if neglected, skill for everyone. Real writing, I mean.  For me, real writing is a process of discovery.  When we write we discover our world, and ourselves, we discover what we really think and what we know that we didn’t know we knew.  Along with helping others, creating is at the top of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.  So creating, in words or images, is right up there. That’s if we do it right.  Writing out your prejudices and knee-jerk angers on social media isn’t the same as real writing.”

The resurrection of the Phoenix will be an opportunity for students to voice their opinion and display their individual and unique world view. “All students can benefit from writing for the Phoenix because such writing is the expression they need to free their souls. If we don’t express what is on our minds, we can grow angry and frustrated.  Expression frees us from that anger and frustration and allows us to become our most authentic selves,” elaborated Turner.