BC Bursts With Creativity At My Final Festival
Published: Monday, April 30, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 19:01
Every year at the end of April, the tents go up. The white plastic structures seemingly erect themselves overnight, as if elves leant their nimble hands to hasten their construction. Their appearance in one of the most high-traffic areas on campus garners little attention, though. People walk around their perimeter to get to class and say little about them other than, “Oh, Arts Fest.” It’s easy to relegate the weekend-long event as simply another on-campus event that couldn’t possibly be squeezed into the burdensome dance card of a socially active college student. Arts Fest deserves your attention, though, because it unearths an aspect of BC students that’s rarely exposed. It reveals a capacity to create and imagine, a characteristic that stays hidden at a Mod party on a Saturday night.
I remember that I sat next to this junior girl in my 8 a.m. Philosophy of the Person class during my freshman year. She struck me as very intelligent. Her contributions to class were often insightful yet concise. Her looks were very attractive in a way not uncommon to Boston College girls. She majored in psychology with a plan to go to medical school. Lacking the academic urgency that comes with being an underclassman, I found her commitments admirable. One quirk that always threw me off, however, was what I could only call an addiction to sketching. Every class, she plugged into discussion for the first 20 minutes and then drifted into her mind. She spent the next half hour sketching highly geometric yet very beautiful images, none of which ever seemed to possess any intention. Class always ended at 8:50 a.m. before she could finish. I could only imagine where the image would go throughout the day.
The student art show is a favorite event of mine during Arts Fest. Students work through several media to create works that never feel phoned in. Each piece looks like an excision of thought. There’s manic thrill and sadness, melancholic ambivalence, and unrelenting joviality, and none of it rings false. How couldn’t we be surprised that the highly professional work comes from our peers? This notion struck me when I went into the tent freshman year and saw a canvas with delicately colored strokes spiraling out of control. Each stroke intersected with another to create small, beautiful shapes. Looking at it stimulated the mind in a most awe-inspiring way. Somehow it looked familiar, and after looking at the byline, I saw the small pieces that began at 8:30 a.m. in Gasson 310. Despite her aspirations for medical school and her propensity
for dissecting Plato, this girl was an artist at heart.
My small discovery is nothing that every person on this campus hasn’t already experienced, but I believe it’s something we don’t always consider. Artistic endeavors are often marginalized in our young minds. Wanting to be an artist, whether through music, performance, dance, or the visual medium, has become a taboo desire. The people who participate in the events of Arts Fest, however, have what every person needs to succeed in these industries—talent. Sure, tenacity and heart are necessary, too, but what job search doesn’t require hard work these days?
In my four years at BC, I’ve seen a full-student band put Madonna songs to instrumental music, chalk artists create Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” on the steps of O’Neill Plaza, young fashion designers create dresses of sustainable fabrics that flow like water, student authors read such well-strung sentences that I envy their ability, and actors who deliver Shakespeare with the confidence of professional players.
BC is bursting with talent, yet it only fully appears once a year. While I encourage everyone to take full of advantage of the many Arts Festivals to come, I urge you all to take advantage of the arts community year-round. Schedules make it difficult to plan, but it’s not a wasted opportunity. Support the arts and see the talent sitting next to you at your 8 a.m. philosophy class.