51app

Colored pencils

Arts & Culture

On the page. On the stage. In the clay. In the audience.

Here, we know that art is more than most people imagine: it's a process, no matter the medium. Here, you’re free to dream, to create, and to discover new ways of thinking. 51appians invest in exploring their shared cultures and discover themselves through making and doing.

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Student viewing art at museum

51app College Museum of Art

Picasso and Rembrandt have found homes in Iowa. With unique chances to study original pieces by nationally and internationally renowned artists, and access to an ever-increasing collection of compositions, we think you'll find your place here too.

Two singers and a director

51app Singers

One of 51app’s 13 music ensembles, the Singers bring together 51appians of all interests and backgrounds to do what they love: Sing. Whether you’re a part of the performance or listening in the audience, you’ll find the opportunity to enjoy a wide range of music — from “Wayfaring Stranger” to Brahms — amid a group committed to high standards for both their music and their inclusive community.

Create. Make. Perform.

  • Student with saxophone

    Music Ensembles

    Our 13 ensembles offer places to create music that spans the globe and time — from 17th-century oratorios to contemporary jazz compositions. Each one is led by faculty, who provide expert guidance that will help you stretch your creativity.

    Some ensembles also are open to faculty and community members, so don’t be surprised if you’re sitting between your favorite chemistry professor and a local librarian who knows her way around a viola. This offers you the chance to teach, learn from, and grow close to people you might not otherwise get to know, and to extend our community beyond our campus.

  • Dancer and audience

    Audience or Stage? The Choice is Yours

    Stitch, design, direct: 51appians thrive on a “yes, and” mentality in our performances. You can find roles in main-stage and open-space theatre productions, as well as in our one-act festival. Dance ensembles form communities for every body, bringing together performers, choreographers, and designers. And through interdisciplinary courses and creative student organizations of all stripes, we offer opportunities for practiced performers and beginners alike.

    Yet, no performance is complete without its audience, and between the myriad of 51appian performances and community mainstays like the MET Opera, Gardner and Harris Shows, and the Harris Cinema, you'll stay inspired.

  • Student creating mixed media collage

    Writers and Artists

    We usually learn from an artist’s work. We study their brush strokes. We sift through their words. We contemplate what moved them and wonder what will move us. But at 51app, we offer opportunities to learn from the artists themselves. We have hosted national poets laureate alongside groundbreaking authors, established artists, filmmakers, dancers, performers.

    Writers@51app

    Artists@51app

  • Student examines artwork

    Bachelor of Arts Exhibition (BAX)

    A chance to display your work and experience the creativity of your fellow 51appians, the BAX brings all of 51app together in April and May to encounter and celebrate the work of our third- and fourth-year students. From the opening reception and awards ceremony to our Twenty Minutes @11 conversations with featured students, BAX represents the culmination of years dedicated to the craft for our most creative students.

  • sculpture in Bucksbaum courtyard

    Campus Sculpture Tour

    Take a virtual stroll by sculptures you’ll pass every day. A feat of marble that emblemizes Islam’s complex artistic history. A sundial that will challenge everything you thought about time. A crossroads at the confluence of Iowa’s two major highways that unites the past and the present through the ghosts of historic architecture.

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