During my first two years of undergrad, it was difficult to incorporate art, especially visual art, into my life at Duke. I have fortunately been able to take a painting and drawing class in the past two semesters, and these classes have truly reignited my passion for creating art. Art gives me the opportunity to engage creatively and deviate from the rigorous science and math-heavy engineering curriculum that I am used to. I recently joined a group called Arts for Life, a service program that brings arts to children at Duke Hospital. It’s one of the most rewarding programs I have been involved with on campus. Performing arts are also a very important part of my life at Duke. I am part of Defining Movement, a multicultural dance team on campus. We have dancers from all types of dance styles and backgrounds, and we perform at many of the cultural shows at Duke. This group has taught me a lot about artistry- I have learned from and been inspired by the choreography and creative visions of so many of my talented team members.
I certainly think there is a community of artists at Duke. I work at the Arts Annex, and I have seen members of the Duke community come in regularly to do art with each other or learn together at DukeCreate workshops. I also think the dance community at Duke is very strong. Dance groups like Defmo and Streetmed have workshops to bring together not only Duke dancers, but other dancers in the NC dance community. It’s been really wonderful to be involved in both the visual arts and dance community here.
I think art is an incredible part of the Duke experience- I can’t imagine my time here without art or dance. Duke draws in an enormous amount of talent, and has so many resources for students looking for a creative outlet. The Rubenstein Arts Center and Arts Annex are both such beautiful spaces, I find myself there even if I don’t have dance practice or work. I didn’t expect to engage much with the artistic community as much as I have in college, and I am finding more ways to incorporate art even into small engineering projects and presentations. Art has always been an interest of mine, and it serves as a cathartic escape from stress and work. I’m really lucky to be at a place where art is encouraged and valued by both friends and Duke’s artistic community.