Where did art go & where can I find it?

If you are like me, you need art in your life. Art is what gives you understanding and excitement about the world; it makes you think, wonder and feel in ways other things simply can’t. If you’re like me, then these last six months have been a challenge as we lost the ability to experience art in some of the most comforting ways. The pandemic brought with it a lot of distress, economic downturns, oceans of unknowing and the breaking point for great change in our society, but for me, it brought a loss of my creative spirit. 

Not only because museums and theaters were closed, or because I was doing my part and staying at home, but because it felt like the ability to create a new was ripped from me in a way a block never has. In my design class, my professor strived to find ways to help us flex our creative muscles, and some weeks it worked better than others; but after so many months of iterating those practices, they lost what made them helpful, and I felt stuck again. I still feel stuck. In fact, I don't feel like I am creating my best work or even finding new ways to challenge myself in the arts. 

The start of the semester has helped that somewhat, I am in a painting class (that I never would have taken were it not required) and it has started to show me again what the possibilities of my art can be, but I am also working on a virtual play for the Department of Theatre that is bringing so much confusion and frustration because I never learned how to design a set for a virtual play, and frankly no one else seems to know either. 

I have found a creative outlet in a very nerdy and longtime favorite video game of mine, Minecraft. I am that person who builds massive, ridiculous builds that take way more time than I should probably ever spend in a video game, but it helps. In the coming months there will be even more things to help me reconnect to my artistic spirit I think, and hopefully they’ll help you too.

UMFA

The first is that the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, located on campus by the Huntsman Center, is re-open. I am still a little apprehensive about going out and evaluating my own precautions before I decide to go but with their opening marks a revival of the arts on campus and in our community as a whole.

Find more info here.

The Night Witches

The Department of Theatre at the U is bringing back theatre this fall! Over zoom… presenting Night Witches by Rachel Bublitz. Catch a virtual production from a company known for its experimental theatre. There is nothing more experimental than a zoom play. I for one, am very excited to be a part of a program pushing forward finding ways to still create art.

Find more info here.

Utah Presents

Utah Presents, an organization based on campus that focuses on bringing unique and engaging arts experiences to the U is back as well, with panels, lectures and virtual performances. In the coming weeks Utah Presents will be hosting and highlighting not only the US Vice Presidential Debate, but also a series of panels titled Artists Elevated and a Gardner lecture with Russian Activist Nadya Tolokonnikova.

Find more info here.

Pioneer Memorial Theatre

Pioneer Memorial Theatre has begun creating unique furniture pieces and custom show themed face masks to help support the dozens of amazing artists under their employ and support the community that has for so long supported them. In addition to the beautiful things they have been constructing, Pioneer Theatre is fully preparing to restart their season in 2021, when deemed safe again with some amazing pieces of theatre. The anticipation alone is keeping me energized.

Find more info here.

Inktober & HRE's Drawtober

The last piece of art I want to mention is one that has always existed from our own homes and has been so exciting for me to participate with on and off over the years. Inktober, you may see HRE’s Drawtober which was inspired by the now global artistic event that happens every October, a list of 31 prompts to be drawn, primarily in ink but that is just a starting point, showing off the creativity of everyday artists from their rooms and their minds. I for one am so excited to see not only what Inktober helps me create but what beautiful illustrations it adds to this world. 

Check out info about these activities on our social media @uofuhousing.

Like I said before, for me art is something that I need to exist. It's sometimes what keeps me breathing in my hardest moments, but it is also what makes the lights brighter and my smiles wider. It has been hard for me, and I’m sure for many of you, but there are so many amazing artistic experiences and opportunities coming up soon. 

People often think to be an artist you have to be the best most realistic painter or sculpture in the world, but realism is what makes art, art. Art is so when we decide it is and whatever you can do, i implore you to continue doing it. So play Minecraft, sing in the shower, dance on the patio, draw on a napkin, paint on your palms, do whatever makes you feel creative and before you know it art will be everywhere once again.

Sam Dalton
Outreach Housing Ambassador

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