Art at Duke
As an aspiring artist, studying at Duke, a school heavily focused on pre professional careers, often feels somewhat out of place. While I do plan on majoring in the very popular major computer science with a specialization in data science and minoring in philosophy, I wish to eventually work in the entertainment industry on concept design. Among all the pre meds, pre consultants and pre laws, the path I am choosing is far from conventional. However, conversations with my academic advisor, professors and friends always make me feel supported and understood.
I think Duke is increasingly doing a great job in incorporating art as part of its culture. The myriad of workshops at the Arts Annex, student organized figure drawing workshops and open events on the BC plaza all represent a blooming student passion for the arts. As an artist studying non-art subjects at Duke, I see my time at Duke as a diverse learning experience rather than a means to achieve some career goal. I think the reverse should be true for other students at Duke too. Even for someone who’s pre-dental with a set path to their ideal job market, the scope of one’s study should be expansive, including exposure to the creative arts.
Art making should also be a community effort. Art is never created in a vacuum. Artistic works are often reflections of the external influences on a particular artist. Feedback from others is critical to the growth of an artist and often result in unexpected inspirations that lead to further artistic creations. DrawDurham, a new student org founded by Joyce Er, brought urban sketchers at Duke together and intended to create a friendly environment of artistic exchanges. Because Joyce was abroad this semester, events were not extended to the spring semester. However, based on the interest and support it generated last semester, I see immense growth potential in DrawDurham and hope a tight community of artists can be connected and fostered further at my time at Duke.