Words From the 139th Arts Editor: It's All About Arts
I like to sort out my Lawrenceville memories by year.
I like to sort out my Lawrenceville memories by year. I look back and I organize my time on campus according to the school year in which it took place, partitioning my memories into the silos of freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior years. Sometimes, I'll organize my time at Lawrenceville according to term, reflecting on key moments that define each of the trimesters. I'll even sort my memories according to the days or weeks in which they occurred.
Not often do I organize my memories by the hour. But with arts, I can. As I frighteningly realize that I officially say goodbye to Lawrenceville – my home and life for the past four years – on Sunday, I cannot help but reflect on my devotion to arts on campus. Mr. Palmer often makes a point to highlight the hundreds of hours that the senior class of Lawrentians has devoted to the choir. I still find it incredibly difficult to fathom that I have spent hundreds (hundreds!) of hours just in Clark Music Center's Behr Hall alone, from III Form year E-Periods to Wednesday mornings' Lawrenceville Singers.
It is even more humbling to think that those hours make up just a fraction of my total arts involvement, time that has been incredibly influential in shaping my time at Lawrenceville and my overall personal development. Sure, I was in the traditional Lawrenceville arts scene. I acted in the Fall Musical, directed for Winterfest, and danced in the Spring Dance Concert. Our on-campus acapella groups Larries and Voicemale built some of my strongest friendships. I even was an orchestra kid until, much to the dismay of Mr. Roeckle, quitting after III Form year. Yet, the arts have truly extended into every corner of my Lawrenceville life, merging itself with academic, athletic, and extracurricular pursuits. My time as both writer and Board member of The Lawrence provided myself and others a platform to express their connection to the arts. For two Terms as Arts Editor, I spent many long and late nights in the basement of Fathers Building pursuing that mission. Browsing online, desperate to find creative topics while meticulously combing through each millimeter of text box alignment on InDesign layouts, these actions represented the silent, stressful, behind the scenes world to an honorable title of Board member.
Academically, my favorite Spanish course, Spanish Master Ayllón-Nuñez's "Muralists of Mexico," was rooted in the historical and artistic analysis of the influential Mexican muralism movement. The arts at Lawrenceville also took me abroad, across the pond to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the world's largest performing arts festival. Our visit to the Tate Modern, one of London's most famous museums of modern art, inspired one of my most powerful college supplemental essays on the importance of public and accessible art in society.
My first Lawrenceville arts experience was seeing the 2016 Fall Musical Cinderella my II Form year. I walked into the Kirby Arts Center (KAC), excited to support one of my prefects who was playing the lead. Little did I know that I would leave in absolute awe. Everything from the set and lighting design to the acting and singing were simply immaculate. It was a professional experience; it represented a vibrant community I knew I had to be a part of.
Arts offer potential as an avenue for something new, something unique, something special. However, when budget cuts happen, whether at a school or in the federal governmental, the arts are always the first to go. My time at Lawrenceville has shown me just how that arts play a critical role in each of our lives, serving as an outlet for our primal human desire for creative expression. Art doesn't exist as isolated pieces or bodies of work; rather, they influence all aspects of life, reaching well beyond the borders of their frame or the edge of the stage. Their beauty touches human emotions and their messages promote reflection.
From the long days and nights I spent wandering the hidden halls and corridors of the KAC during musical tech week to my time this winter choreographing for SDC 2020, from singing in the Edith Memorial Chapel to Behr Hall, from Allegro Shows to Kirby Music Festivals, from playing Mercutio in my freshman Shakespeare production of Romeo and Juliet to becoming the Beadle this year in Sweeney Todd, I am eternally grateful for all that the arts have given me over my four years here. Thank you.