Haunted Arts Annex brings Halloween to the campus arts scene

duARTS will host its second annual Haunted Arts Annex on Halloween night.
duARTS will host its second annual Haunted Arts Annex on Halloween night.

Halloween is the perfect day to spend time with friends, eat lots of candy and junk food and dress up in spooky costumes. Since Halloween falls on a Wednesday this year, some students have been looking for ways to celebrate the holiday on campus. 

For those who want a break in their week to enjoy Halloween without the hassle of going off-campus, duARTS is hosting its second annual Haunted Arts Annex from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., a night of crafting and snacking for Duke and its surrounding community. 

The event offers T-shirt screen printing, marble leaf making, yarn pumpkin making, painting, pumpkin origami garlands and much more. Along with free pizza and Halloween costume contest, there will also be a surprise activity hosted by the Arts Annex staff to look forward to. Before the event from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., students can help create a jazz-themed mural outside the Arts Annex with the local muralist Dare.  

“Whether you go alone or with a large group of people, there will be something to do, whether it’s crafting, painting, enjoying free food, eating Halloween candy, or screen-printing a shirt,” duARTS co-vice presidents Cameron Oglesby and Pingyi Zhu wrote in an email.

By organizing this event and other duARTS events around campus, Oglesby and Zhu hope to engage students with the diverse arts community on campus and provide inclusive programs and events for the Duke student body.

Oglesby and Zhu had different academic backgrounds when they came to Duke, but they both wanted to find a strong arts community at Duke. They quickly became interested in duARTS and its many leadership opportunities.

“When I first decided to come to Duke I wanted to make sure my passion for the arts didn’t get left behind as I pursued an environmental science degree," Oglesby wrote. "It was through the duARTS First Year Intern Program last year that I really got a sense for the arts community, what duARTS could do for me as an artist, and the potential for multidisciplinary programming on campus."

This common fear of sacrificing arts interest or skills for different careers is shared by many Duke students who have this creative side but are pursuing other majors, particularly those in STEM. What duARTS hopes to establish is the opportunity to blend those desires and participate in both sides of the undergraduate experience with leadership opportunities and unique events, even providing connections that bridge the perceived academic and artistic gaps. 

For Zhu and Oglesby, the Haunted Arts Annex is a perfect way to combine diverse campus groups and allow them to express a different side of themselves. 

“Those who come to this (and any of our other events, really) are contributing to the greater artistic community simply by being appreciators, supporters, and creators,” Zhu and Oglesby wrote. 

But the Haunted Arts Annex is just one way that they can involve the Duke community in the arts community.

Zhu and Oglesby hope to continue the momentum into the rest of the year, searching for other ways to strengthen this arts community. For them, the Haunted Arts Annex is a great way to promote or introduce the Duke community to the many possibilities. 

“When people think of Halloween, they probably think of candy and trick-or-treating, but this event invites the arts into this holiday in different forms: the freedom to decorate, the freedom to paint, and the freedom to use the Arts Annex as the space it was intended to be," Zhu and Oglesby wrote.


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