Arts & Culture

New Instagram account celebrates local artists

University initiative aims to promote artistic achievements, community events

Senior Staff Writer
Tuesday, February 2, 2016

With the University’s newly activated @artsatbrown Instagram account, Brown and Providence community members will be able to showcase their work in a shared digital space. Luyuan Xing, program coordinator for the arts, created the account, which published its first post two weeks ago.

Xing said Instagram was the ideal choice for a digital arts repository, as the medium provides a navigable interface and simple presentation while also serving as a digital record for the work contributed by the community. “It’s a great way for people to see what we’re creating at Brown,” Xing said.

Students have reacted positively to the account’s creation. “It definitely makes me feel more involved in the arts community,” Sophie Houser ’19 said.

“As a non-concentrator, it’s great,” said Clementine Quittner ’19. “I’ll know about things going on in the arts community that I wouldn’t have otherwise heard about.”

The layout allows conversation to be taken a step further as “a living archive,” said Frank Mullin, production coordinator and photographer for the Brown Alumni Magazine and the Office of University Communications. Because of regrams, likes, comments and shares, “experiences aren’t just momentary things anymore,” he added.

But @artsatbrown functions as more than just a means by which to communicate with those involved or interested in the arts. It highlights students’ impressive artistic achievements and publicizes the lectures, displays and exhibits taking place in the community. “The account gives a visual for the arts activities going on at Brown,” Xing said. “There are so many students who are incredibly talented, and we want to show people what they are creating.”

Utilizing Instagram as a platform to showcase aspects of life on campus is not unique to the arts community. The @brownu Instagram account was created four years ago by John Murphy, the social media specialist at Brown. The account captures the authenticity of campus life through first-person photo posts and micro-videos. “The authenticity (of the account) is awesome because it’s a first person perspective of being a student at Brown,” Murphy said. “We couldn’t have done this 10 years ago.”

Mark Nickel, acting director of news and communications, said the app provides a window into Brown. “It allows the University to present a very detailed view of itself to the world,” he said.

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