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Defining the Arts

People from across campus shared what the phrase “the arts” means to them.
The campus-wide arts visibility initiative launched at the beginning of the spring semester.
The campus-wide arts visibility initiative launched at the beginning of the spring semester.

This semester, SDSU NewsCenter will focus on the arts with stories of the creative endeavors of our students, faculty, staff and alumni.   

"I want to produce images that startle one into recollection," said celebrated San Diego artist John Baldessari, a San Diego State University alumnus.

Baldessari's statement on the power and responsibility of art rings true for all forms of artistic expression — music and dance, prose and poetry, theatre and film, as well as the many forms of visual art.

This semester, SDSU NewsCenter will focus on the arts with stories of the creative endeavors of our students, faculty, staff and alumni.

As we brainstormed ideas for stories that would capture the diversity of the arts on campus, we realized that it's not always easy to define the arts.

The Oxford American Dictionary defines art as “the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power."

That’s all well and good, but what does it really mean to the Aztec community? We asked people across campus what the arts mean to them, and what we discovered is that “the arts” means different things to different people:

Dani Bedau Headshot

For me "the arts" = TRANSFORMATION: the arts transform the way we see ourselves, each other, and the world.

Dani Bedau, chair of SDSU’s new arts visibility initiative



Julia Bendall headshot

The arts provide a channel for expression of thoughts, emotions and ideas in a moment of time.

Julia Bendall, undergraduate majoring in economics




Kim Calderon outside Student Affairs

The arts take the most beautiful, tragic, and often private pieces of the human experience and creatively interpret them in the public sphere for our collective betterment.

Kimberly Lamke Calderon, director of communications services for the division of Student Affairs

 

Lily Cheng smiling headshotA diverse array of sights, sounds, colors, touches, shapes, tastes, rhythms, forms that offers enjoyment, inspiration and enrichment to life.

Lilly Cheng, managing director, Confucius Institute at SDSU


Luciano in front of Hepner HallIt means "expressing your creativity"

Luciano Demasi, assistant professor, aerospace engineering and engineering mechanics





Leslie DiBona edit

Creative endeavor born of subjective feelings and intuition rather than objective data and facts.

Leslie DiBona, major gifts research manager, University Relations and Development

 

 

ernesto-edit.jpg

The part of life that really matters, when done right.

Ernesto Gonzalez, master's student majoring in television, film and new media.

 

 

President Hirshman headshot

The arts are an essential element of a meaningful life, providing opportunities to understand and experience the full range of human perspectives, questions, and emotions.

Elliot Hirshman, SDSU President

 

 

Gabriela Leverette headshot

The arts are whispers of truths yelled at an audience, be it in motion, words, color, or sound.

Gabriela Leverette, undergraduate majoring in journalism emphasis in media studies

 

 

massoud saghafi headshotA creation by a person or a group that influences any of the five senses. 

Massoud Saghafi, professor, marketing





Lamine Secka headshotA wide variety of creative endeavors, both performance and artistic in nature, that represents someone’s interpretation of a feeling, event or experience that is meaningful to them.

Lamine Secka, interim police chief


sTEPHEN wELTER headshot

Art is an opportunity to ignore boundaries, to express or challenge our values as individuals, a campus, and society, and to reflect on the human condition in our ever-changing, heterogeneous world.

Stephen Welter, vice president for research and dean of Graduate Affairs

 

Join us as we explore the arts at SDSU and their impact on the Aztec community.  

Make sure you use and follow the hashtag #ArtsAliveSDSU if you're on Twitter.  

 

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