Making art at Duke: Free art activities on campus

Making art at Duke: Free art activities on campus

Overwhelmed with classes and looking for a way to de-stress? Are you ready to fulfill your New Year’s resolution to take up a new hobby? The Chronicle has prepared a guide of free art resources at Duke to help you discover your hidden potential.

Arts Annex

The Arts Annex is a gem for experienced artists and novices alike, serving as a hub for the campus arts scene and filled with resources for you to express your creativity in a variety of mediums. This includes everything from paints, crafting items and brushes to screen printing, ceramics and visual arts studios. Whether you’re just stopping by to clear your head or ready to embark on an artistic adventure, student staff members are available every step of the way to help. Located between East Campus and the Rubenstein Center for the Arts at 404 Gattis St., the Arts Annex is easily accessible via the C1 and CSW bus routes, with its dedicated stop on both lines. After you get off the bus, follow the path until you reach a gate that will open with your student ID, then go through the courtyard to the Annex.

Nasher Museum of Art

Not in the mood to create something from scratch? Visit the Nasher Museum of Art and enjoy a wide range of inspiring art exhibits. Her most recent exhibit, “Modern Prophets: Art and Spirituality in America,” opened January 27. Curated by Julianne Miao, the exhibition highlights various depictions of spirituality and religion in contemporary art. The Nasher is currently home to another temporary exhibit, “Love and Anarchy,” and will host another, “María Magdalena Campos-Pons: Here,” starting February 15. “Love and Anarchy” conveys a central theme of the unexpected. intertwining the chaos of anarchy with the passion and love of love, while María Magdalena Campos-Pons: Ja explores themes of slavery, motherhood, migration and forced labour, creating a curated selection that transports the viewer through different mediums and challenges unknown. . In addition to these temporary exhibits, the Nasher is also home to a number of permanent exhibits, including the Collection Galleries, which feature historical art pieces that illustrate human creativity and pay homage to the strengths of the Nasher.

The Nasher Museum of Art is located at 2001 Campus Drive, directly across from the Rubenstein Center for the Arts and can be accessed from C1 and CSW avenues. The Nasher Art Museum Cafe, which accepts food drops, is a great place to eat. Hours of operation can be found on the Nasher Art Museum website.


Whether you’re a jack of all trades or a jack of no trades, the Rubenstein Center for the Arts, known to students as Ruby, has something for you. A center for artists of all trades, Ruby has dance studios, media production studios, a movie theater and a studio theater. And when it comes to visual arts, Ruby’s Badger-Mars Visual Arts wing is the place to be. Her painting studio welcomes visiting artists and art project residents and features resources such as easels, north-facing windows, a mess sink and ventilation. The wing is also home to the Duke Innovation Co-Lab and multi-purpose studios, which can be used to host exhibitions or dance practices. Ruby is located at 2020 Campus Drive, between East and West campus, and is right across from the Nasher Museum.

Innovation Co-Labs

There are a total of 3 Innovation Co-Labs on the Duke campus that are free for all students to use. Located in Lilly Library on East Campus, the Rubenstein Center for the Arts, and the Technology Engagement Center, the Co-Labs combined technologies such as 3D printers, a CNC router, a laser cutter and engraver, a vinyl cutter, hand tools, welding equipment , desktops and PC workstations. While no experience is required to take advantage of these resources, some machines may require assistance from staff members to operate.

Future/recurring events

Looking for a fun guided activity to brighten your day? Luggage decorating on the BC Plaza stage, flower bouquet making at the Landing in the Bryan Center, and cupcake decorating in the Wellness Center are some of the many offerings hosted at various locations around Duke, organized and run by DUU Visual Arts and duArts . These free workshops are a great way to try out a new skill or pick up a new hobby. To learn more or register for an event, go to Duke Groups and search for DUU Visual Arts and duARTS.

Additionally, duArts hosts Second Fridays at BC Plaza, a fun way for students to destress and let their creativity flow. As the name implies, they take place on the second Friday of each month and have included activities such as sun printing, coloring kits and bracelet making, often in collaboration with local artists and groups from the Durham community. The most recent Second Friday, which took place on February 9, gave students the opportunity to make mini fabric flower bouquets – just in time for Valentine’s Day.

There are many opportunities to get involved in the arts scene on campus, regardless of previous experience or lack thereof. Don’t be afraid to take advantage of these resources; who knows, you might just find another hobby.

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