Monday, December 2, 2019

Art at Duke

Being an artist at Duke comes in many forms. Some people dance fifteen hours a week as part of their dance group; some practice lines and routines for theatre plays; others draw and paint late nights in Smith Warehouse. I loved organizing artistic events through clubs and being in unique art classes with friends. Throughout this artistic journey at Duke, I've delved into the artistic community of students, faculty, and staff have all worked so intensively to build the burgeoning sense of community that exists at Duke today, and I would definitely say that art is an important part of many students' Duke experience.

But one thing rings true about the majority of Duke students who are interested in art, including me: many of them are not pursuing careers in art. It seems to be a plight of Duke that we accept so many students who love and are passionate about art, yet not so to the degree that they are willing to do it for their career. It is here that programs like DEMAN weekend, interacting with art faculty, and providing support for students interested in art careers early on is so vital to showing students that art is a viable career path.

Or maybe it's because Duke is so selective, academically rigorous, and extremely expensive, we simply do not attract the people will become our future artists. People at Duke are instead focused on careers that will sustain them financially in the future and the artists are at Julliard, which is also completely reasonable. Yet I always feel a little sad when I meet Duke students who are so talented and so inspired, but have never considered art as a viable career path for them.

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