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All About Art

Art on Campus

Located on the campus of Christopher Newport University, the Mary M. Torggler Fine Arts Center and the Ferguson Center for the Arts host prestigious art exhibits and shows, as well as offer classes to the public. While their appealing architecture draws attention from the outside, what these two magnificent buildings contain is far more than meets the eye. Did you know that the exhibits and shows put on in these centers are

free for students? Did you know students can take almost any class in the Torggler or Ferguson Center to fulfill Creative Expression requirements? If you don’t, you’re not alone! Many students aren’t aware of what is offered in these buildings, which is why it’s our priority. Let’s hear from Harrison Ivy (Senior, Kinesiology), Mason Field (Senior, Finance), and Carter Shaw (Junior, Finance) about their experience and knowledge about what the Arts at Christopher Newport University have to offer. 

Student Perspective 

I had the privilege of discussing student perspectives regarding the Torggler and Ferguson Center. Among the three different majors, they were only somewhat aware that the exhibits and shows were free for all CNU students. Carter Shaw stated, “I was partially aware but have not taken it upon myself to research more about what they offer. I think with the busyness that being a college student brings, it is not on my list of priorities to participate in the activities, especially when I get free time; However, for other students, that may differ.” Generally speaking, students who are not interested in the Fine Arts have not explored the two amazing buildings. Though this may be the case, the Ferg and the Torgg are not just for those who are interested in the Arts; they’re for everyone! Harrison Ivy expressed that art isn’t relevant to his major in kinesiology, so he wouldn’t personally take it up. And that’s okay! Art doesn’t have to be a central part of your life, nor does it have to help you advance your college career. Carter mentioned that busy schedules often hinder students from going to see a show or walk through an art exhibit. But what if instead of viewing the Arts as uninteresting for those not majoring in Fine Arts, we looked at it as an outlet for stressful days? Maybe as a way to escape from the world of business or science and indulge in a great performance with friends or take time to walk and enjoy the peaceful art? It would be exciting for students to step outside their comfort zones and explore the Arts together, discovering more of what the Ferguson Center and Torggler have to offer. Taking classes like dance or ceramics with friends to fulfill the Creative Expressions requirement is just one way students can enjoy a different aspect of the college experience.

Endless Possibility

I’m currently enrolled in a dance class, and it serves as a stress-relieving outlet. For an hour and fifteen minutes every Tuesday and Thursday, I forget about everything else and just enjoy dancing and doing yoga with my friends in the class. While dancing might not be everyone’s cup of tea, there are plenty of other creative classes available. Mason Field believes that taking a class like ceramics “would be fun and a cool skill to have.” In addition to the classes offered for students, there are also classes available outside the classroom for anyone interested! Some of these classes include The Art of Metal-smithing, Wheel Thrown Wonders, Hand Building with Clay, The Art of Sketchbook, Watercolor, and many more. Harrison Ivy and Mason Field note that they don’t see themselves taking these classes for fun outside of school. However, Carter Shaw feels, “It could be cool to be able to produce something for my enjoyment (painting in particular), but it’s not something I am considering at the moment.” Even though art classes may not be for everyone, they could still serve as a great opportunity to switch up your daily routine and try something new, either with friends or individually. The Arts aren’t just for Fine Arts enthusiasts or majors; art applies to every aspect of life and can even be relevant to other majors. “Art helps people express themselves. It would be nice if I was motivated to pick up art,” says Harrison Ivy.

The world of Fine Arts is at our fingertips. Don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone and explore something new. Who knows? maybe you’ll like it.

Written by: Harper Minarik

Photographs by: Emma Murphy


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