Art event draws students together in the quad

Andrea Muniz ‘21, left, and Antoine Williams, assistant professor of art, dance at Art on the Quad on Wednesday, Sept. 20. 2017. Muniz and Williams have bags on their feet that decorate a large canvas with chalk as they dance, an activity known as “Dance and Draw.”/Photo by Abigail Bekele/ The Guilfordian

Live music, large crowds and smiles filled the interactive art spaces on the quad.

Guilford College’s Arts Day on the Quad was held on Wednesday, Sept. 20 at 1:30 p.m. This event gave the Guilford community a unique opportunity to experience art through a wide variety of mediums.

By participating in the various activities, students were able to have a relaxed break from their class work with other members of the Guilford community.

“I feel like with such a heavy workload here, it’s important for students to have something to relax them and get their creative juices flowing,” said junior Chelsea Ware. “(It lets us) just kind of forget about the overwhelming stuff we have otherwise.”

The art mediums allowed students to explore different ways of expression. These mediums included steamroller printing, African drumming, face painting, sword fighting and poetry writing.

“Art is a great way for people to express themselves,” said sophomore Joseph Patterson. “Especially here at Guilford where we have a really wonderful community that supports the arts.”

By promoting self expression through the arts, the event brought together a diverse group of Guilford students, staff and faculty members.

“I think that it builds community, and it helps us get to know each other outside of our normal connections or ways,” said Vice President for Enrollment Management Arlene Cash. “So rather than just ‘I know you from my dorm’ or ‘I know you from my class’ or ‘I even know you from my high school’, we’re connecting on a different level … and around the arts. And so the arts are really sort of forms of expression, and so you can see the different … aspects of people.

“I think it makes people feel as though there are people who are like them in different kinds of ways and … you really get to see some of the diversity of our community … also the fact that you have not just the students out here but you have the faculty out here, you have staff out here, so everybody’s sort of coming together.”

Participating in Arts Day on the Quad also gave students the opportunity to see which art mediums interested them most. This way, they could take an arts course or be involved in the art department at Guilford in the future.

“After this, seeing all the cool projects, I definitely want to take some art classes next year,” said first-year Brownie Southworth. “I wasn’t really considering that before. I’m a science person, but I definitely want to take some art classes now.”

Cash explained the importance of allowing students to explore arts, especially with the recent emphasis on other subject areas.

“Well, we have so much… focus on STEM, you know, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics,” said Cash. “And I think the arts are one of the ways in which … everything is enhanced through art. … Even in engineering, there’s art engagement and urban planning.

“If you don’t have an artistic perspective, or at least an appreciation of art, then it’s difficult to even make any kind of job interesting, whether that’s music, or theatre or print art. So instead of just working with STEM, making it STEAM, science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics. So you have like the whole perspective. It’s a holistic education.”

Arts Day on the Quad was a way to strengthen the Guilford community. It allowed students and staff members to create stronger connections with each other while collaborating on various art pieces.

“Everybody’s sort of coming together like that (saying) we have on the website,” said Cash. “We are Guilford.”