The most creative day of the year

Northrop hosts World Art Day on Friday, celebrating student art with a variety of events.

Danylo Loutchko

For most of the year, creativity at the University of Minnesota is spread across all parts of campus. But on Friday, artists at the school and in the community will convene at Northrop.
This year is the University’s first celebration of World Art Day, an international holiday celebrating art and human creativity that occurs every year on Leonardo Da Vinci’s birthday. 
Starting Friday at noon, free art events are hosted throughout the day, with a lecture and concert by rap artist Dessa at 7 p.m. A light show on the Northrop plaza follows the concert.  
“[World Art Day] allows students to showcase what they are doing here and what they are learning here,” said Allyson Taubenheim, student engagement coordinator at Northrop. “But there are also students who’ve been involved creatively their whole life but have had to let that go once they enter university — it’s important for people to remember to keep that in their lives.” 
All the events aim to showcase student art in some capacity: There will be a student film festival, an open mic and a student photo exhibit on display. 
Event planners will convert Northrop’s study lounges into interactive art stations, and there will be two murals that visitors can contribute to. 
“We’re trying to fill the building as best we can,” said Abigail Taylor, co-director of the student group University Collaborative Ambassadors for Northrop, which organized the University’s World Art Day. 
“Wording Out!” with Ivory Tower
Ivory Tower, the campus literary magazine, is hosting the open mic event “Wording Out!” and several Ivory Tower staff members will be sharing their work. 
However, the open mic is open to anyone who wants to read out loud, do spoken word or sing. 
“It makes a difference in any artist’s life, in their creation of their work and in the culmination of their own personality, to have opportunities to share their art within the community,” said Tori Peckarsky, marketing director for Ivory Tower. 
Dessa Live
At the end of the day, local rapper Dessa will be giving a lecture about art and performing a concert on the Carlson Family Stage. She graduated from the University with a degree in philosophy about a decade ago. 
Today, Dessa is known for her writing as well as her music and is part of he local hip-hop group, Doomtree. 
“One of our priorities was to connect student artists to artists in the community like Dessa,” Taylor said. “At the end of the day, we get to celebrate a student artist that used to be here and is now doing the thing and making a really good living.”
Light Show by Tesla Works
Following the concert, visitors will walk out onto Northrop plaza for a musical light show.  CSE freshman Ian Smith created the light show through the student group Tesla Works. 
Tesla Works also creates the annual Civil Engineering holiday light show and an annual light show at Spring Jam. 
The student group combines science, art and engineering. They offer funding and resources for students to realize zany ideas like “an 8-foot-tall walking beast or a trebuchet that launches cantaloupes,” Jeremy Lund, one of the leaders of Tesla Works, said.  
“[Tesla Works] gives a very good platform for inspiring makers in the community, while also teaching people technical skills,” Lund said.  
Tesla Works is just one of the many student groups and creative minds involved in World Art Day. 
“[World Art Day] offers a very different experience than what we usually get on campus,” Taylor said. “Exposing ourselves to the arts is an important way to break our academic classroom setting but still be learning about the world.” 
World Art Day featuring Dessa
Where Northrop, 84 Church St. SE, Minneapolis
When Noon Friday, Dessa concert at 7 p.m.
Cost Free, Dessa concert $20 for non-students.