Canvas came into being in the spring of 2004. The prior student literary magazine, Icarus, had been eliminated in 2000 when new faculty decided to create a national literary magazine in its place. After those faculty left, Dr. Bill Church, an MWSU graduate, was appointed to edit the national magazine, The Mochila Review.
Dr. Church encouraged student staffers of that magazine to create a new journal dedicated to publishing only current students, MWSU graduates, faculty, and staff, with the primary emphasis on student works. Church agreed to serve as Faculty Advisor to Canvas, and he led the students in authoring a grant that was funded by the MWSU Foundation. Annual publication has been continuous since 2004, with generous support from the Foundation.
The production of Canvas represents an Applied Learning experience for the student staffers, many of whom are concurrently enrolled in ENG285, The Making of Contemporary Literature, which produces The Mochila Review. The staff encourages submissions of original writing, photography, and art year-round, with the submission deadline usually before Spring Break. In late April or early May a public reception and reading is held on campus to welcome the new editions of both The Mochila Review and Canvas.
Since its inception, hundreds of students have received their first publication in Canvas, and scores of students have gained valuable experience on staff.
- 2004 Jeremy Lyons
- 2005-06 Matt Lillie
- 2006-07 Christina Dubach
- 2008 Allie Faulkner
- 2009 Katy Strasser
- 2010 Ryan Bradley
- 2011 Ryan Bradley and Ashley Snyder
- 2012 Ashley Snyder
- 2013 Dani Johnson and Lee Douglas