Professor Tulu Bayar, Jose Saavedra Valdivia ’13, Professor Robert Rosenberg and Megan Reid ’14

Creativity, with its thorny, thrilling, luminous twists and turns, is a journey at once accessible and daunting. Wise guides and a vibrant community can be gigantic boosts along our way. As artist and Associate Professor of Art Tulu Bayar says, “Art-making does not happen as an isolated private act. It does not exist in an isolated place.”

Bucknell, she has found, teems with creativity, ever more so in recent years due to the Presidential Arts Initiative that has made “Arts. Everywhere.” a campus creed. Bayar and Associate Professor of English and novelist Robert Rosenberg are two of the Bucknell mentors committed to walking the creative path with their students.

Rosenberg says young artists especially need to see people living in the world as artists so they can picture where they might go with their own work. He says that the interdisciplinary overlap among the arts at Bucknell is a constant source of inspiration. “This campus is an intense colloquium with a breathtaking array of really high-quality dance, music, exhibitions, film, readings. With the Weis Center for the Performing Arts, Campus Theatre and downtown Barnes & Noble at Bucknell University bookstore, the offerings rival many big cities. That’s good training for students too because as an artist you learn to pick and choose where to focus.”

For decades, luminaries in the arts, entertainment and media have found their start at Bucknell. As Ali Keller ’12, a recent theatre graduate, says, “I’ve been able to stretch my creative boundaries because of the support I received from my professors. Whatever you want, they’ll help you make it happen.” Keep an eye out for Keller and other young Bucknell talents like Jose Saavedra Valdivia ’13 and Megan Reid ’14, because with a series of new initiatives Bucknell is determined to become even more of a magnet for aspiring young artists the world over.

“My students are not just trying,” says Rosenberg, who aspires for everyone in his writing classes to write a publishable short story by semester’s end. “They don’t just imagine they’re going to do it someday,” he says. “They do it. I’m incredibly proud of them. They walk the walk. They create works of art.”

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