Jerk Magazine awards the trendy, artsy and charitable

On Saturday evening, Jerk Magazine hosted its first, soon-to-be-annual awards show. The magazine honored students and community members who do charitable and creative work but often go unnoticed.

Students dressed in artfully ripped tights, short dresses, and high-heeled boots mingled, nibbling their sushi rolls and finger sandwiches as thumping bass shook the walls of Smith Hall’s basement-turned-trendy-art-gallery.

Welcome to the 1st Annual Jerk Awards & Student Show.

The Jerk magazine staff and more than 100 students gathered on Saturday night to recognize groups and individuals doing “out-of-the-ordinary things” to contribute to their community.

Jerk Magazine handed out 10 silver JJerk Awards-shaped awards, ranging from The Environmentalist to The Role Model.

 "We wanted to give recognition to underground groups and people that are not obvious,” Jerkmagazine editor-in-chief, Gregory Miller, said. “Tonight we are recognizing students, alumni and community members that people may not have heard of before.”   

The magazine’s mission is to “jerk people out of their apathy,” according to their website.

The Award winners were students or SU alumni that shake up their communities through charitable or artistic work. Student winners included Artists of the Year, Edward Morris and Susannah Sayler for their artwork dedicated to raising awareness about climate change.  The “Blogger” Award went to the satirical blog, Le Orange, a blog run by SU students, and the Role Model of the Year went to School of Education masters student, Sacchi Patel. Patel also won the MLK Jr. Unsung Hero award in January for his work with the SU R.A.P.E Center and co-founding the MasculinityU blog. He is a leading voice on campus speaking out against sexual violence.

“I was taken aback, humbled and surprised when I was notified that I was going to win this award,” Patel said. “But at the same time it is cool to see what Jerk is doing in recognizing the people they did tonight. It is affirming to have what we do shared with others.”

“The awards come back to the brand,” Miller said. “On the surface we are edgy, but we actually recognize the need for arts and what it does for the community.”

Aside from the brief awards ceremony, the other main focus of the evening was the display of student artwork. The small J&J Smith Gallery, in the basement of Smith Hall next to the Hall of Languages, was lined with photographs, paintings, cartoons and sketches created by students and members of the Jerk staff.

Jerk Awards art show

The work ranged from black and white self-portraits, to intricate paintings by senior Visual and Performing Arts major, Bernard Lee, and cartoons by Jave Yoshimoto, a graduate student.          

Sean Basista, an illustration student, featured a painting entitled “Jean Quixote: Patient #1189.” The piece showed the naked, institutionalized, distant relative of Don Quixote riding a horse and chasing a pinwheel.

“Jerk is a forum for people to create interesting and intriguing stuff,” Basista said. “It’s fun to be a part of.”

Patel agreed. “The magazine presents not-so-mainstream news,” he said. “They actually take a second to research what they write about and uncover new and interesting things that are going on.” 

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