Arts + Culture
Students have many extracurricular opportunities to explore the visual and performing arts on campus. Through annual collegewide traditions like Collegium and open mic nights, students present their work in both formal and informal environments. In Peterson Art Gallery, students have the opportunity to develop, curate, and present the visual arts work that they have completed in college-funded arts classes and in the pottery studio. And our student clubs, such as Chrysostomos and the International Club, work together to produce theater productions, dance exhibitions, and more.
Collegium is a longstanding tradition that draws the entire college together to celebrate through music, dance, poetry, performance, and more. Collegium happens at the end of every semester, bringing students from the undergraduate program and the Graduate Institute together with staff and faculty for a warm night of connection in the Great Hall. Bring your talent, new friends, and endlessly clapping hands to this biannual favorite.
What other college has its own pottery studio, complete with a head potter, at no additional cost to the students? It makes learning and growing as a ceramicist very simple: Learn the head potter’s new schedule, as well as open hours, and show up. Whether you want to participate in a formal class or drop in for independent work, it’s your choice. And when you finally have a piece that you’re proud of, submit it to the upcoming student show in Peterson Art Gallery.
There is a long history of theater on the Santa Fe campus. Most recently, it has come to life through the student club Chrysostomos, which generally produces two full productions annually. Productions tend to happen in the Great Hall and on the Meem Placita, both of which provide great opportunities to experience the uniqueness of a theater in the round production.
Productions include the works of playwrights that span more than 2,500 years of theater. From the ancient Greek dramatists, Aeschylus, Aristophones, and Sophocles, to the comedies and tragedies of Shakespeare, Johnnies know their classics. But we also embrace the modern, existentialist, avant-gaarde, and contemporary theater, from John Paul Sartre and Tom Stoppard to August Wilson and Sarah Ruhl.
Open mic nights happen regularly in Santa Fe. They offer an informal space where you can try out your new song, your new stand-up routine, or your new poem while surrounded by a warm crowd of fellow Johnnies in the Cave or the Coffee Shop. These informal performances are helpful in preparing you for Collegium—your upcoming showcase in the Great Hall. In addition, a weekly and informal jam session happens in the Cave, offering yet another opportunity to fine-tune your work in a supportive environment.
We can’t wait to see what you’re working on.
Although the visual arts are not part of the St. John’s curriculum, students have a variety of ways to study them on campus and through our funded summer study abroad opportunities.
Most commonly, students request funds through the student Polity Council or the Student Activities Center in order to bring extracurricular arts classes to campus, such as figure drawing or impressionist painting. Students also take advantage of our on-campus pottery studio, which offers regular training from our head potter.
For those wanting deeper study and experience, the college has long offered a semester-long study abroad program with our partner fine arts college, The Marchutz School of Fine Arts in France.
Both funded and unfunded internships with the city of Santa Fe’s vibrant arts sector are also available through the Office of Personal and Professional Development. In addition, Peterson Art Gallery is student-run, which means that students can also curate and exhibit their and others’ work regularly to the college community and the broader city of Santa Fe.
Although dance is not part of the St. John’s curriculum, our community is full of dancers who love to present their craft in front of an audience of fellow Johnnies and friends. The Great Hall is a great venue for this, and dancers perform every semester at our biannual collegewide performance event Collegium.
Students also work together to put on their own dance performances. International dance styles and costumes are regular favorites here in Santa Fe. If you want to take an actual dance class, get your dance colleagues to petition Polity for the funds. Most recently, we have offered ballet with free transportation to an off-campus studio.