By: Michelle Reed
In the commotion of midterms, homecoming football games and never-ending coursework, it can be easy for students to overlook an area of campus life that’s constantly growing and changing: the arts.
The University’s creative community is always quietly (and sometimes loudly) at work, looking for new ways to engage students and faculty in artistic experiences. Kathryn Maguet, executive director of the Weis Center for the Performing Arts, is always on the lookout for inspiration.
“I attend a lot of performances in New York and nearby, and even in international venues,” Maguet said. “I like to take my time to see how an artist is evolving, and how their work might resonate with the campus and the greater community. I want to present artists and performances with the most natural points of connection to Bucknell. ”
Performance art, Maguet said, is unique in its ability to offer a shared artistic experience. “What happens between artist and audience member is the magic; it’s the glue. It’s the beauty of experiencing something profound together.”
Rick Rinehart, director of the Samek Art Gallery, similarly emphasizes the transformative power of contemporary art.
“Art is that space in society that’s carved out for imagining,” Rinehart said. “I honestly, sincerely believe that every student should engage in the arts. That’s the kind of learning that will sustain them through the rest of their lives.”
Rinehart believes a vibrant artistic community is essential to a university setting.
“The arts create an alternate learning space to the formal classroom. A liberal arts college gives students the opportunity to experience the best of the world in a microcosm,” Rinehart said.
So, how can we immerse ourselves more fully in the arts? It’s as simple as venturing up to the third floor of the Elaine Langone Center and exploring the Samek Gallery’s current exhibit, spending an evening enjoying performance art at the Weis Center for the Performing Arts or discovering a new film at the Campus Theatre.
“At no other point in your life will you have opportunities to follow the arts that are as economical and as accessible as you will on a college campus,” Maguet said. “Take advantage of it. When you walk out of here and enter a different chapter of your life, it’s not going to be at your doorstep.”