Saturday, November 23, 2019

To be an Artist at Duke

Art is what keeps me grounded. At Duke and other
Duke-adjacent schools, it isn’t difficult to become
consumed with grades and expectations and extracurriculars
and the all-too-familiar feeling of not doing enough.
Creating has become my solace. In the past, I found myself
perceiving art as a “breaktime” activity, something I’d do if
I got around to it--so I never did. Living this way--assignment
to assignment--is unsustainable and unhealthy. About halfway
through last year, I began to prioritize balance, carving out
time to create just as I carved out the time to study. 
Although art may not be put forth as a defining feature of
Duke, the campus is full of artists; it’s just a matter of
seeking out community with them. One’s first thought may
be to seek out this community by flocking to art-related
extracurriculars. In fact, when I arrived on campus, this is
how I assumed I should go about it. And although this is a
valid approach, I’ve found more community with artists
outside of extracurriculars--in happenstance revelations that
I have a passion in common with someone else. Many of
Duke’s artists are quiet creatives with a multitude of
different interests; fishing out who is also an artist has been
a really fulfilling experience for me. 

I think that art can be an important part of the Duke experience, if
one chooses to seek it out. Duke has so many artistic resources,
from the Ruby to the Arts Annex to film screenings, etc.
Experiencing art can be a huge source of growth; it exposes you
to different cultures, viewpoints, new ways of looking at things:
a time for reflection. College is a time to experience new ideas
and broaden your worldview. Art can help attain this. I believe
that incorporating art, whether it be as the creator or as the
viewer, provides the individual with a much fuller experience.

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