In the Loop
Student Stories : Jul 17, 2017

SA+AH graduate students start podcast about the arts

By Marshall Carpenter

School of Art + Art History (SA+AH) graduate students Mark Hodge and Jennaca Taipalus recently started a new podcast, entitled Art in the First Person. The two stressed that the podcast is not an art history podcast, per se, in the sense that it is reserved for academics and art majors, but rather embodies a more inclusive approach to appreciating the arts.

“People tend to see arts appreciation as an activity that is more daunting and for professionals,” Hodge said. “With this podcast, we wanted to get people talking about their experiences with art in a non-academic way. The podcast’s name was chosen specifically to reflect this.”

Asked about their approach to the recording process, Taipalus said, “We try to make it a conversation, so nothing is scripted and most things aren’t planned ahead of time, save for the subjects.”

Hodge and Taipalus added that the only major modification they need to plan for or make is editing the audio to be within the span of 45 minutes. This, however, has not resulted in any major cuts thus far; instead, they simply remove non-essential bits, such as long pauses and ambient noise. They chose to make a podcast as opposed to a video series for several reasons.

“I’ve wanted to do a podcast for a long time,” Taipalus said. “I thought it would be fun to get a presence and make something, no matter the size of the audience.”

Both Hodge and Taipalus expressed that a podcast is a much more welcoming format than video, as it simply “feels like you’re just talking to someone” and that being on video would make them both nervous.

While they do have some goals for the future of the podcast, Hodge and Taipalus aren’t too concerned about reaching a huge audience.

“I want to have more guests, because I feel like that would make it more interesting,” said Hodge.

According to Taipalus, their goal is to to interview most of their classmates, as well as to reach out to individuals from other College of the Arts (COTA) departments.

Hodge has some other long-term goals for the podcast in mind, as well.

“[Guests] don’t need to be afraid of sounding ignorant, and that as long as you approach art with an open mind, the experience that you have is valid and worth discussing.”

Additionally, they do intend to put the podcast on iTunes, and have plans to submit a request to be featured on iTunes soon.

Hodge and Taipalus explained that their time at COTA has played a major role in their formation of the podcast. In particular, they were inspired by an ongoing debate in their classes over the merits of a historical or anachronic approach, or whether something is as beautiful or great if you experience it out of historical context.

Hodge is especially interested in how works of art created in a different time interact with people today. Two of his textbooks, “Anachronic Renaissance” and “Medieval Modern” made him start thinking about how art from different periods exists today.

“That was best approached by asking people today about such pieces,” he said.

Hodge and Taipalus have only just begun with their podcast, and are looking for and encourage people to come on and discuss their experiences with art.

“If people are eager to tell a story, and they’re open to talking about their experiences with art, they should not be afraid to reach out to us on any of the platforms we use.”

You can find Art in the First Person on Facebook or email them at