Visual Art

Día de los Muertos Ofrenda

Día de los Muertos Ofrenda

October 7 - November 3

Honor the dead with Día de los Muertos Ofrenda, a Day of the Dead altar piece, at Duke Chapel that pays homage to the rich cultural heritage and sacred traditions.

In the Wake of Progress

In the Wake of Progress

Thursday, September 26 at 5:00pm

Three large-scale LED screens visible from Duke’s East Campus show the deeply moving and intentionally overwhelming 22-minute experience of "In the Wake of Progress," a story of human industry’s impact on the Earth.

As Water Falls

As Water Falls

September 3 - September 16

This large-scale installation piece is a virtual interactive waterfall from Montreal-based digital art studio Iregular. AS WATER FALLS interacts with photo flashlights, allowing audiences to interact and manipulate the piece.

Botanical Gel Printing

Botanical Gel Printing

April 10, 2024

About the Workshop There are endless things that can be done with this unique printmaking process; for this class we will be learning to make botanical prints straight from plants ...

Visible mending

SOM: Mindful Mending

April 17, 2024

About the Workshop Learn time-honored Japanese Sashiko techniques for mending and repairing damaged textiles. Participants are encouraged to bring 2-3 items that need simple mending alterations that can be done ...

Screen printing workshop

Screen Printing

April 23, 2024

About the Workshop This two-hour workshop will cover the basics of putting images on screens (making a stencil), ink mixing, and how to effectively use a squeegee to get ink ...

María Magdalena Campos-Pons, "De Las Dos Aguas" (Of the Two Waters), 2007.

Polaroid Workshop

April 25, 2024

We welcome UNC professor and photographer Lindsay Metivier for a one-of-a-kind workshop! After reviewing photography composition techniques, learn how to transfer images from a Polaroid picture onto a new surface. ...

SOM: Mindful Watercolor

January 17, 2024

About the Workshop Relax and engage in the magic of mindful watercolor painting! Participants will learn a variety of different experimental and texture building techniques, then play with the materials ...



January 12, 2024

Abelton Ceramics Taught by Brooks Frederickson Learn how to throw pottery on the wheel! In this introductory class, you will learn the basics of centering and throwing cylinders. This class ...

Lino cut printmaking

Lino Cut Printing

January 11, 2024

Taught by Sean Graham Come make your very own beautiful art print to hang in your dorm room or apartment! In this workshop students will learn the basics of linocut ...

Tracy Fish: “Times of Stillness”

We invited artists from Duke’s MFA EDA community to share work they have made in response to the coronavirus crisis. See the full “Home & Away” collection here. Artist’s Reflection Some ...

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Kristin Bedford: Cruise Night

We invited artists from Duke’s MFA EDA community to share work they have made in response to the coronavirus crisis. See the full “Home & Away” collection here. Artist’s Reflection When ...

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Cyclical Navigations: In the In Between

This work is an interdisciplinary installation that focuses on the ways embodied storytelling can function as a historical care practice. This installation aids in the creation of a nonlinear archive based on the stories, memories, and lived experiences of Black folks in America.

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Mario Moore

Mario Moore January 16 – March 6, 2022 Mario Moore, a painter recently commissioned by Duke University to paint a portrait of Wilhelmina Reuben-Cooke, will be the artist-in-residence at the Rubenstein Arts ...

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Social Video Art

This program brings together works by Pedro Lasch that are as varied as their settings. Projected in large scale at museums and galleries, all works have been meticulously co-edited with Michael Blair to become video art in its own terms—as opposed to simply documenting Lasch’s social and site-specific art.

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Sophia Li ’21: The Transfer Station

The Transfer Station is a documentary photography project that examines what our waste says about who we are as people today. As our society’s waste gets continuously transferred, The Transfer Station addresses the question: where will it all eventually go? What will become of our discarded, once-valuable possessions—and of us?

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A Fall From Grace

A Fall From Grace is a multimedia project by Zaire McPhearson, MFA EDA '20, that tells the story of single Black women and their children involved in a cult from the mid-1970s through the early 2000s.

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Sinewaves in the Triangle

Sinewaves in the Triangle is an immersive multimedia installation that uses technology to express the artistic mind and the creative process to illicit an emotional and physical reaction in the viewer.

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Organizing Against Climate Change Through Sustainable Art

This summer, Lizzy Kramer '22 worked with Durham-born artist John Felix Arnold III on one of his recent installations, “Reimagining Cerberus,” which calls attention to the human impact on climate change. We invited Kramer to share her reflections on the experience, including her belief in the ability of art to pose questions and challenge perceptions.

Julie Platner MFA EDA ‘21: “Third Alternate Executor”

Julie Platner's short film ”Third Alternate Executor” explores the life, mortality, and ephemera of her Uncle Kenny, a human deeply entrenched in an eccentric version of normative, white, lower-class social structures. The piece seeks to elaborate on performative masculinity, objecthood, class and the American Dream.

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Mingyong Cheng MFA EDA ‘21: “Water or More”

“Water or More” is an interactive installation that uses facets of water to describe the wide-ranging emotions of human existence, taking inspiration from the reflection of water in literature, poems, and films. The project explores how to optimize space and combine the real and virtual to design an immersive audience experience.

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Yang Xu MFA EDA ‘21: “Outset”

Yang Xu’s exhibit “Outset” explores her feelings about and understanding of the college entrance examination, which is taken by tens of millions of Chinese students each June. The exam is not only the starting point for students to realize their dreams, but also a battle that requires all-out efforts.

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MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts Class of 2021

We showcase the work of this year’s graduating cohort in the MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts program in this special series of interviews. Fellow artists, MFA EDA alumni, faculty, and mentors interviewed each graduating student about their thesis exhibitions, which are on view at Duke, in Durham, and online May 7 through June 5.

Jayne Yu Wang MFA EDA ‘21: “The Unfinished Utopia”

Jayne Yu Wang's “The Unfinished Utopia” is an installation of a fictional city, Fangchuan, at the border of China, Russia, and North Korea. Following a foreign flaneur’s diary, viewers will have the opportunity to explore the city through audio, photography, architectural design, Instagram posts, and ordinary objects in this city.

Spectral Seas: Tackling Climate Change Through Storytelling

A Bass Connections team has created an art installation on view in the lobby of the Rubenstein Arts Center. “This project is emblematic of the integrative and synthetic thinking that society needs to tackle the wicked challenges of climate change and sea level,” says Betsy Albright, assistant professor at the Nicholas School.

A Painted Tribute for Raj Mehta

On March 27, a group of Duke students painted a portrait of their friend, Raj Mehta, a member of the Class of 2022 who passed away in 2020, on the Campus Drive free expression tunnel. We share a statement from Shivam Patel ’22, Raj’s former roommate, about this painted tribute.

In Its Fifth Year, the Enviro-Art Gallery Goes Global (and Virtual)

The Enviro-Art Gallery is an annual showcase of artwork that aims to bring awareness to environmental issues through visual media. Featuring a monthlong virtual gallery of over 600 works and 15 speaker sessions from April 5 to 10, students Cameron Oglesby and Isabel Wood share how this year's showcase has expanded in spite of the pandemic.

“Graphic in Transit” Honors Mexico’s Finest Printmaker

A new book co-edited by Miguel Rojas Sotelo, adjunct professor and event coordinator at the Center for Latin American & Caribbean Studies at Duke, is the first to put Sergio Sánchez Santamaría in context. On March 24, a panel conversation featuring the artist, celebrates the first edition release.

Yng-Ru Chen ‘01 on Why She Opened Praise Shadows Art Gallery

Yng-Ru Chen ’01, owner of Praise Shadows Art Gallery in Boston, MA, is presenting an exclusive virtual preview of the new exhibition, “Memento Mori,” on March 11. Ahead of the event, Chen connected with her former professor, Gennifer Weisenfeld, to reflect on their initial meeting at Duke and Chen's journey into the art world.

Antoine Williams’s “Othered Suns”

Antoine Williams used the Rubix as canvas for his work “Othered Suns,” a wheat paste and sound installation. Williams is a mixed-media artist and educator who uses art to explore his cultural identity.

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At the Intersection of Art and Science

Clay Sanders, who received a PhD in civil engineering from Duke in 2020, currently has a painting depicting a dance rehearsal on display in the Rubenstein Arts Center. He shares how making art has helped his career as an engineer and provided him with an outlet during difficult times.

William Paul Thomas: Black & Blue

William Paul Thomas is an artist based in Durham. He taught at Duke in 2017-2018 as the Brock Family Visiting Instructor in Studio Arts, was in residence at the Ruby in 2019, and frequently leads workshops with the Nasher Museum of Art and DukeCreate. In this profile, junior Dani Yan digs deeper into the "magnetic" portraits in Thomas's Cyanosis series.

Sofia Zymnis ’21: Virtual Balconies

Sofia Zymnis '21 shares a project started as a pseudo-autobiographical documentation of her own experience during lockdown that has now developed into a constantly-growing website, inviting people to share their own balcony community in order to grow a shared virtual one.

Bill Fick Sparks Action Through Screen Printing

Bill Fick shares his recent political prints, which you might also spot in and around Durham. Fick is assistant director of visual and studio arts for the Rubenstein Arts Center and lecturing fellow in the Department of Art, Art History and Visual Studies.

Beverly McIver is Painting Politics

Beverly McIver was asked to participate in political public art project led by People for the American Way, and it sparked a series of directly political paintings. McIver is Professor of the Practice in Duke's Department of Art, Art History and Visual Studies.

Call for Proposals: Campus Center Art Collection

The Campus Center Arts Committee is now accepting submissions for 2020-2021 rotating exhibits in a variety of spaces, including the Brodhead Center Café Gallery, galleries at the Center for Multicultural Affairs and Student Wellness, and the Louise Jones Brown Gallery.

How Do You Teach Art & Collaborate Remotely?

Duke faculty teaching visual arts, music, and theater share how they navigated the move to online teaching. It wasn’t easy. Supplies were mailed, collaborative projects were reinvented. Transformations and solutions discovered this spring have expanded the teaching repertoire—even as we look forward to safely returning to studio and stage.

Sophia Li ’21: “There is Art All Around Us”

Sophia Li shares her final photography project, "Food for Trash"—created for the course Ways of Seeing: Storytelling through Photography with Professor Charlotte de la Fuente Nørregaard (DIS Copenhagen)—which meditates on the meaning of food scraps during the coronavirus crisis.

Dario Robleto: Art is “Compassion, Altruism, and Empathy”

“The radical nature of art, at least the truth of it that I have come to embrace, is its capacity for care, empathy, reciprocity, invitation and correspondence with others.”—Dario Robleto, artist based in Houston and member of the Nasher Museum’s Board of Advisors. The global pandemic reminds Robleto of his early years as an artist, when social distancing, seclusion and self-reflection came naturally to him.

Stephen Hayes is Making Monuments

Brock Family Visiting Instructor in Studio Arts Stephen Hayes has two new public monument commissions: a marker for the Chapel Hill Nine in Chapel Hill, and a sculpture honoring the Fifth Regiment of the United States Colored Troops in Wilmington, NC—recently featured in The New York Times.

A Look Back at 5 Years of DukeCreate

As DukeCreate explores remote arts tutorial opportunities with its instructors, we offer this look back at how the series has developed since its founding. "We started thinking about how we could bring more structure and more mentoring, but keep flexible access and non-judgmental engagement with the arts. And that is really the origins of DukeCreate," shared Vice Provost for the Arts Scott Lindroth.

The Rubix

The Rubix is a temporary experimental structure created for visual and installation art research. Faculty in the Department of Art, Art History and Visual Studies are exploring the question: What is public art and how is it made? Future projects in and on this structure will attempt to answer this question.

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Loving Viola

This project explores the enigmatic relationship between the artist and Viola McCoy, an unrelated woman whose 1930s photograph came into her possession and captivated her several years ago.

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People of Duke Arts: Vonnie Quest

Vonnie Quest is an interdisciplinary documentary artist from Milwaukee, WI, whose work weaves together family history, Afro-surrealism, and speculative fiction. As Vonnie seeks to piece together details of his grandmother’s life while in residence at the Power Plant Gallery, he is also reimaging new memories and alternative futures.

Dust of the Zulu

This immersive installation incorporating sound, photography, and video brings twenty-five years of award-winning ethnomusicological fieldwork in South Africa to life.

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A Mini-Monument in the Makerspace

When Pedro Lasch's massive sculptural project for Mexico City's main square hit a dead end, he thought that was the end of the story. Twenty years later, Lasch used the Ruby makerspace to create a smaller architectural model of what he once envisioned for that project. Read on to learn his take on this experience and to hear his thoughts on the arts at Duke.

Ocean Room

This life-sized dome was designed to serve as a meditative space for students, faculty and members of the wider community. This installation was designed and built by undergraduate Kora Kwok (Trinity, ’20), who is exploring how art spaces can foster human connections.

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Layers of Dreamscapes

Layers of Dreamscapes reimagines how we can be immersed in a piece of art by adding a new physical dimension to one of the most popular and oldest subjects of paintings: the landscape.

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Exploring Art and Neuroscience at Duke

Sujal Manohar (Class of 2020) is a double-major in neuroscience and visual arts. An exhibit of her drawings in the Wellness Center Art Gallery proves the two fields are not as far apart as one might think.

People of Duke Arts: Mark Steelman

Virtual reality is often associated with gaming and entertainment. In this piece, Mark Steelman, the president of Duke's VR club, talks about the limitless possibilities that virtual reality offers—including in the arts.

Art As Protest: Preserving Latinx Culture through Murals

"The mural at Duke was defaced...because it made people aware that there is a vibrant and powerful Latinx community in the university and the area," notes Dr. Márquez, a Romance Studies Professor at UNC. Duke Arts explores how Duke students and community members used visual art to protest the defacement of a Latinx Heritage mural on East Campus.

People of Duke Arts: Dare Coulter

Get to know Dare Coulter, a Triangle-based artist, sculptor, and muralist who combines distinct aspects of color, culture, and creativity to re-imagine communities of color in joyous and powerful spaces. "The reason that I paint what I paint is that I need people to be in it. It has to be people."

Watercolors in Motion

Christopher Lam, engineer and watercolorist, will use his residency at the ruby to engineer a 21st-century form of watercolor expression that is three-dimensional and interactive like a pop-up book.

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People of Duke Arts: Stephen Hayes

Meet Durham-born artist and Duke Visiting Instructor Stephen Hayes in this "People of Duke Arts" interview.  "My number one goal is to wow my audience and to have meaning behind it—to have people relate to my work or even just start a conversation," explains Hayes.