Duke Arts Create Spotlight: Zines and Wellness

Have you dabbled in embroidery? Experimented with screen printing? Tried your hand at creative writing?

For years, Duke Arts has offered opportunities for Duke students, staff and faculty to do all of the above (and more) in free hands-on workshops through Duke Arts Create. This fall, Duke Arts Create students have delved into the world of zines through a partnership with DuWell.

The word zine (zeen) originates from the 1930s and 40s when fanzines made by lovers of comics and science fiction entered popularity.

In the 1960s and 70s, zines became associated with DIY, punk, and counterculture. Typically made in editions of 100 or less, zines are often distributed to a specific audience to share information without censorship. Zines can be text-based, image-based, collage or hand-drawn – or any combination thereof.

In this innovative partnership with DuWell, Duke Arts Create has offered a series of three zine workshops to Duke students, faculty and staff. In the spirit of zines’ ability to marry self-expression and information sharing, these classes are centered around the theme of wellness. Three instructors each proposed a different take on wellness and a different construction and decoration method. The final class in the series is scheduled for Friday, November 10.

The first class, taught by Orvokki Crosby of The Concern Newsstand invited students to make a collage about keeping up their spirit during difficult times. Each collage made up one page of a zine constructed by the whole group. Kelly Wootan of the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History & Culture joined the class to share some wellness-themed zines from the library’s extensive collection.

In the second class, Sean Graham of Badcat Studio led students to choose a mindfulness-related word and made a collage-based zine from 8 ½ x 11 in. paper on a single fold.

The third and final class is on Friday, November 10. Taught by Duke Library Lead Designer and Photographer Janelle Hutchinson, students in this class will learn how to make an 8-page zine from a single sheet of folded paper.

The theme of this class is self-care. Using hand-lettering and drawing, students will make a zine about how they practice self-care or suggest ideas for their peers.

This special series of workshops will culminate in an opening reception and exhibit at the Student Wellness Center on Friday, December 1st. The public is invited to stop by and view original pages of the zines, which will be displayed on the walls, and pick up copies of the zines, which Duke Arts will produce in limited editions. Light refreshments will be served.

Duke students, faculty and staff are invited to attend the final zine workshop on November 10 from 6-8 p.m. As with all Duke Arts Create classes, no experience is necessary, and all levels of ability are welcomed.

Learn more about the upcoming workshop