Sunday, April 21, 2019

Essay on Being an Artist at Duke

De’Ivyion Drew 
VISARTS 205-001 
April 21st, 2019 

How does art fit into your life at Duke? 
Although I am limited to part-time student status at Duke University, I find that I naturally gravitate toward the tastefully placed glass and sunsets at the chapel. Art, I have recently found, is a way one moves through life. Intermediate Drawing has placed me in a setting where everyone uses art to move differently, and that in and of itself has taught me to own my stride. Conversations with others when they see my sketch board at the BC, the Lou, on East, even at the Chapel Bus Stop often focus on the art of living, which fits seamlessly with our task as students to reimagine and question everything. Furthermore, these spaces offer an opportunity to see how art is life moving through me, whether it is munching at East, contemplation at the BC, laughter at the Lou, or reverie off in the distance waiting for the C1 bus. 
Is there a community of artists at Duke? 
Community is what one makes of it, and with only one semester of being engaged with Duke, I am delighted to have made one already that grows by the day. Specifically, my artist community began the day that our class visited the Visiting Artist section of the Rubenstein Arts Center. William Paul Thomas has been an integral part of my first-year experience here at Duke University and I would like to use this moment to implore the university to employ more artists of color, particularly black men and women, because their impact goes beyond their stay at the Ruby. Through him, I have been connected to many other artists in his likeness who support me and the importance of my work in this world. Edom Tilahun. Dare Coulter. Alana Hyman. They are Duke Devils that give me drive to sketch, to craft, to imagine ways to merge the worlds of UNC and Duke flawlessly. 
Is art an important part of the Duke experience? 
As a Duke student, you would be remiss to exclude yourself from artistic engagement. A majority of extracurricular activities are art-based with the purpose to reconnect yourself with others and your inner self. Participants of student concerts and other extravaganzas feel fulfilled from being a part of art and art being a part of themselves. When I mention to other Devils that I am an art major, many of their facial dispositions change and they often proceed to speak the similar tale of “I played an instrument when I was younger, I wish I kept up with it.” or “I used to draw all the time, but I settled with an art minor instead.” or “I chose another passion instead of art, but I wish I didn’t have to choose at all.” Art is a common thread within all of the human experience, and I am fortunate to choose Art as my way of life, my only critique is that I wish others would realize that they can uncompromisingly live an artistic way of life in whatever discipline they pursue. 

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