Monday, December 3, 2018

Being An Artist At Duke

In high school, I spent a considerable amount of time drawing and making art. I took as many art classes as my schedule would allow and I would create pieces for fun in my free time. I recall my senior year of high school I was trying to get into a full art class, so I dramatically emailed my art teacher that I needed to get into it, since it would be my last art class I would ever take! At the time, I thought that when I got to Duke, I sadly would not be able to fit drawing classes into my schedule. 
Despite not being a Visual Arts major, every semester of college thus far I have scoured DukeHub for a way to make an art class fit into my schedule. Ensuring I keep up with an activity I enjoy while providing guidance and a creative outlet, drawing this semester has been challenging, yet relaxing. Through my experimentation with different subject matters throughout the semester, I have learned the sort of art I hope to be capable of creating in the future: clean and with interesting lines. The limited direction given with the assigned works was unlike anything I ever experienced in a high school art class. I enjoyed the challenge of having to find the best possible subject matter as well as capture it artistically. This part of the course taught me about making purposeful decisions before even starting a piece. As well, I enjoyed work days in the classroom, where I could freely sketch, wind down, and refocus. 
While I personally so appreciate art classes and the art community at Duke, I do believe the greater Duke population could benefit from taking an art class themselves. Many students would be pleasantly surprised with how much they enjoy the class, and I do not think many give it a chance. As well, I think many students would be significantly more challenged by the coursework and expectations than they believe to be accurate. For instance, if I tell my friends I have a ten page paper due, they are sympathetic, but if I inform them I have a whole piece to complete for drawing, they are less cognizant of the required time, skill and effort required in completing a polished piece. 
Being a part of the art community in this small way by taking this class has encouraged me to continue my involvement for the rest of my time at Duke. Making art balances my academic life, exposes me to a crowd of creative, inspiring people, and allows me to grow in an area I enjoy. The opportunities and resources for artists at Duke are also a huge asset I plan to continue to utilize. Listening to guest artist speakers and attending new exhibits of the Nasher are also ways to expand my horizons as an artist which are readily at my disposal. Art has now become a larger piece in my Duke experience as a result of my participation in this course!

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