search button
newscenter logo
Monday, March 27, 2023

Follow SDSU Follow SDSU on Twitter Follow SDSU on Facebook SDSU RSS Feed

Dance is just one form of art showcased through the Arts Alive SDSU initiative. Dance is just one form of art showcased through the Arts Alive SDSU initiative.

Campus Arts Come Alive

Arts Alive SDSU brings color, music, dance and life to campus.
By Hallie Jacobs

“Art education encourages students to think critically, to problem solve, to work in teams, to question.”

If you've noticed an influx of art at San Diego State University, it's no accident.

Thanks to Arts Alive SDSU — a program that promotes the work of SDSU arts students, faculty, and staff to cultivate a creative campus arts community — the spotlight is focused on engaging the campus community with the flourishing wealth of art on our campus. From pop-up concerts, to productions at the Farmer's Market to curricula infused with the arts, art is becoming an integral part of the Aztec Experience.

“We have all this incredible art on campus, but it’s been more of a best kept secret rather than a showcase,” said Dani Bedau, chair of Arts Alive SDSU and professor of Theatre, Television and Film. “In the last year I think we’ve done a really good job shedding light on all the incredible art we have here on campus, and we plan to keep that momentum going.”

After its first successful full year of operation, Arts Alive SDSU has been praised for bringing more color, performances and life to SDSU, with the promise of more events and opportunities to engage in the arts this year. 

The need for art

Arts Alive SDSU arrived on the Mesa in spring 2014, but finished its first full year of arts programming in May 2015. After a successful year with more than 217 arts events taking place on campus serving more than 100,000 attendees, the program is ramping up efforts to increase campus engagement with the arts.

Weekly pop-up concerts take place under the dome in Love Library. Thursday's Farmers' Market features performances from theatre, dance and campus music ensembles. Jewelry making, screen printing and other interactive art making opportunities have become a part of the exposure of the arts.

"SDSU has strong traditions in both the arts and sciences," said SDSU President Elliot Hirshman. "Our initiatives in research and creative endeavors — part of the implementation of our strategic plan — reflect our community’s ethos that vibrant programs in the arts and sciences are essential elements of the exploration, both of knowledge and ourselves, that characterize a great public university."

Mixed mediums

A crucial aspect of Arts Alive is to encourage interdisciplinary collaborations between the arts and non-arts disciplines.

"Art integration expands thinking in other areas," Bedau said. 

One such example includes the successful launch of the Year of the Phage event held at SDSU in the spring. SDSU students and faculty worked with Arts Alive SDSU to produce paintings, sketches, sculptures and musical compositions inspired by phage to complement the scientific studies of world-renowned phage researchers.

"It’s rare for an art professor to meet with a biology professor, virologist and musician, so it’s great to have these collaborations," said Arzu Ozkal, an interdisciplinary artist, designer and researcher who took part in the Year of the Phage event. She is currently an assistant professor of graphic design at SDSU.

Art professors will be working with faculty in areas such as science and engineering to create interdisciplinary courses to encourage collaboration between disciplines. Courses inspired by the Year of the Phage event will be developed in spring and available to students in the 2016-17 academic year.

"Although different methods are used, the arts and the sciences stem from the same fundamental desire to understand and characterize the world, to unlock its mysteries and to capture truths about ourselves and our environment," Hirshman said. 

Another major Arts Alive SDSU initiative is to encourage non-art majors to take art-related classes.

"When we have a creative community, an arts-rich campus, people are more inclined to feel comfortable and learning is increased," Bedau said. "Art education encourages students to think critically, to problem solve, to work in teams, to question."

To learn more about Arts Alive SDSU, visit the Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.

For a list of events, visit the Arts Alive SDSU website, designed by FreshForm Interactive and sotodesign. Both companies are owned and operated by SDSU alumni.



Arts Alive SDSU
Arts Alive SDSU is shining the spotlight on the creativity at SDSU.