Monday, April 22, 2019

On being an art Student at Duke

                 Being an artist at Duke is like walking through the gardens, except blinded. You hear about the beauty of the flowers and how happy everyone looks to be there. You may hear the laughter or smell the blooming flowers but you can't see them. You walk through the garden, stumbling, only to have the blindfold removed at the end. You realize in those last 5 minutes of being at the gardens how much there was to see that you didn't see. You leave hoping you can walk the gardens again without the blindfold.

              Taking a heavy stem courseload with an art class this semester made me feel blinded to all the opportunities and lessons of doing art at Duke. While this class has given me a chance to express my creativity in ways that I couldn't in my Math classes, I still feel like I have failed my artistic self. Maybe I had too high expectations while enrolling. I wanted to master the use of lines in order to be able to describe anything with just lines. While I have improved significantly, I cannot confidently say that I have achieved my goals.
collaged flowers

                Close to the end of the class, I discovered collage and colorful patterns. That was like being allowed to experience the garden fully but, only for a few minutes. I am thankful for the journey that has been taking this class, for the chance to explore the patterns in African fabric and in extension - the culture, for a chance to learn what colors compliment each other and why some colors can only be put on certain patterns.  Most Importantly I am thankful for having a professor and classmates who offered me critical feedback every week in my best interest. I can say that I learned the most from the critique sessions that forced me to see my pieces from different perspectives literally and metaphorically.
               My journey as an art student at Duke doesn't end here and I will be back soon to explore the garden and its flowers fully.

Angel M.

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