So you think you can SART?
Many students only find themselves in the Black Family Visual Arts Center (BVAC) once during their four years of undergrad, and it is usually to fulfill their ART distrib for graduation. SART can be so much more than just a requirement for your diploma - here are just a few reasons why you should consider taking more than one SART class, or maybe even shoot for a minor/major in the department.
- Stress relief! We all know being a student at Dartmouth can be stressful at times, and SART classes provide a creative outlet for you to channel that stress while still getting course credit. Drawing, painting, photography, and sculpture can induce a "flow state," much like binge watching Netflix, where you forget your surroundings and even the passage of time and completely immerse yourself in your work.
- SART homework will be different from all your other homework. There won't be problem sets or 100-page readings in a SART class. When your mind needs a break from your other academic responsibilities, Studio Art is a refreshing alternative to typical assignments. Plus, the end result is something beautiful that you can hang on your wall at the end of the term - I don't see anyone doing that with their ENGS problem sets.
- Anyone can do it. SART grading is not based on ability, but instead improvement and how much effort you put into learning new techniques, styles, and mediums. I once had a SART professor compare learning how to draw to learning a foreign language: if you want to be fluent, you have to put in the time, but anyone can learn if they're willing.
- The people. The SART department is full of incredible profs and TAs who all make their own amazing art in their free time. The professors and TAs (who are usually SART Senior Majors) understand the ups and downs of working through a project and the unique sense of accomplishment that comes with finishing a piece. Their work is inspiring and they offer a wealth of experience for their students to learn from.
- Discovering a new passion or talent. If you never try SART, you may never know if you would've loved it or been really good at it. I was tentative at first, and now I'm a SART minor. I wouldn't say I'm particularly talented, but I've realized that I'm passionate about the visual arts and want to get better at them.
- Pride in the finished project. Sure, finishing a reading or doing well on an exam is satisfying, but there is nothing quite like putting in twenty hours of work on a painting and finally seeing it hanging on the wall in the BVAC.
I encourage you to try as many different SART classes as you can. They enrich your experience as a student and change the way you see the world every day. Of course, it's possible that you'll try a few SART classes and still disagree with me, but I say it's better to try than to regret not having tried later. Even if you aren't a SART type of student, the BVAC is still a quiet place to study on comfy couches, surrounded by the beautiful artwork of your peers.