Art opportunities on campus

Junior nursing major Nick Adams shows off his makeup work from Erin West’s class from last spring. Taking the Stage Makeup class at Westminster is just one of the many ways students can get involved with arts on campus. Photo courtesy Nick Adams

Junior nursing major Nick Adams shows off his makeup work from Erin West’s class from last spring. Taking the Stage Makeup class at Westminster is just one of the many ways students can get involved with arts on campus. Photo courtesy Nick Adams

Students have many options to get involved with arts on campus. They can sing, act, dance, paint, draw, write, play, sew and even do makeup. 

Westminster offers a variety of different art opportunities through classes, clubs and community workshops.

For many years, there have been art classes in the liberal education requirements, and some will remain once the WCore curriculum begins.

WCore opens the opportunity to take more classes outside of a student’s major, said Deb Vickery, director of the START Center.

“I think one of the things that a lot of students don’t realize is that a balance in their life is not just doing something in a subject they do well at, but it’s expanding their horizons,” she said.

One opportunity that students have is the potential to skip the introductory courses of an art discipline.

“If you have experience and can come in and show a portfolio of actual work that you did, you can talk with either the chair of the department or the faculty member who is teaching that section,” Vickery said.

Expressing an interest in taking the higher-level courses and asking about skipping over the introductory courses is the first step.

Another option for students is moving outside of the common art courses into ones that are a little different.

For example, Costuming or Stage Makeup, taught by theatre professor Erin West. Both of these classes are offered as electives and don’t require previous experience to participate.

West said she doesn’t see many students from outside the theatre major in her classes but said she wishes that she did have more taking her classes as electives.

“It’s really fun to get people who aren’t theatre students because then you get a different perspective on things,” West said. “They look at things in a totally different way.”

Another option is to get involved with the art-related clubs on campus. Many of the clubs are open to students of any major and any level of expertise.

“We have so much going on with the jazz ensemble, orchestra, choir, you have the theatre program, all of those things,” said Nicole Tyler, sophomore English major and co-president of Westminster SLAM poetry club. “I think that there might be a fear when you’re in college, though. I think there’s just that predisposition that you need to be experienced in order to do something.”

Being a part the Westminster art communities may be different from ones at other colleges or universities.

“A lot of college and universities will have opportunities for majors and non-majors,” said Vickery, director of the START Center. “What can set Westminster apart is more of the community involvement that the smaller college can have.”

In addition to the community involvement, the final product can also be enticing.

“The most rewarding thing for me would have to be watching the growth of something, or just seeing someone put their passion into something and watching it improve, even if it’s little bits by bits,” said Tyler, co-president of Westminster SLAM.

Finally, taking art-related community education courses is another way to get involved. These classes are open to the public and require a fee.

This semester, Westminster will be offering tap dance courses in the Payne Gymnasium. For more information on these classes, visit the reception desk in the Dolores Doré Eccles Health, Wellness, and Athletic Center.

If students are interested in Westminster SLAM, they can attend open mic events every Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the Bassis Student Center.