Two weeks ago, the Georgetown University Art Aficionados unearthed a latent art appreciation subculture at our first general body meeting. Many of the GUAA board members would have been happy with 15 or 20 curious faces, but over 50 people congregated as we scrambled to find more chairs in the dimly lit ICC Galleria.
GUAA formed to provide students with opportunities for artistic expression and education. Creativity is Georgetown’s Achilles’ heel. We want to change that by making the District’s incredible art resources more accessible from the Hilltop, by developing on-campus art events and providing resources to art students. For more than twenty years, surveys of alumni and graduating seniors have consistently indicated the need for better arts programs at Georgetown. Clearly, there’s room for improvement.
The likes of Georgetown art aficionados include freshmen, seniors, exchange students, grad students, econ majors, sculptors, computer scientists, and more. Some of us overdosed on Jackson Pollock and Rembrandt in high school art, some of us have never taken an art class, some of us doodle masterpieces on our Problem of God notebooks. No matter what their academic pursuits or previous exposure to art, students from all walks swarmed to the general body meeting.
Student-led excursions to local art exhibits are the society’s bread and butter. Destinations vary widely from week to week—a Poussin sketch series at the National Gallery, a stroll through a sculpture garden, or a trip to a private Dupont gallery. Last weekend, one of our members led a trip to check out the Hirschorn’s new digital media exhibit, “Semiconductor.” The only requirement to lead a trip is the passion to share your favorite art with fellow students. In addition to bimonthly art excursions, GUAA is developing a blog (GUArtAficionados.com), where Georgetown artists can display reproductions of their work.
GUAA is still in its infancy, and we have lots of ground to cover this year. After struggling to attain SAC recognition for over a year, we are now on track to becoming a SAC-sponsored club by the spring of 2009. We recently co-hosted a nature hike and photo safari with Outdoor Education and will continue to co-host art-related events with other Georgetown clubs.
We want to be a positive, interdisciplinary, catalytic force for art on the Hilltop. Many professors in the art department have expressed support for GUAA, and we anticipate close cooperation with Visual Art and Art History professors in the future.
It doesn’t matter if you are making your tenth pilgrimage to your favorite Rothko in the Phillips Collection or just want to hang out off-campus; anyone can take advantage of D.C.’s countless galleries and exhibits that just require a bus ride or two from the Healy gates.