Arts & Culture

The Wake Forest Theatre production of Bertold Brecht's The Caucasian Chalk Circle

All the campus is a stage.

Or a canvas, a dance floor or a concert hall. As a student at Wake Forest, you’ll find yourself within arm’s reach of artistic expression at all times, and that includes the greater Winston-Salem community and its many opportunities to experience or participate in the fine arts.

The Scales Fine Arts Center hosts student productions in art, theatre, dance or music every three days (on average) in the fall and spring semesters.

The vibrancy of the arts at Wake Forest also stems in part from a requirement that every student take at least one class in art, music, theatre or dance in order to graduate. It’s a condition that nobody seems to mind.

Generally speaking, we put the ovation in innovation. Here are just a few of the places where we do it:

Theatre Department

The Theatre department supports interdisciplinary exploration of its plays through the Interdisciplinary Performance and the Liberal Arts Center (IPLACe), which connects the performing arts and other academic departments. The department allows students to participate from their first year, and performs, on average, four major productions per academic year that are open to the entire student body.

Film Studies

Students many approach the study of film through courses that explore their cultural, political, and social implications. Participate in the annual Reynolda Film Festival of student films from around the world, meet filmmakers and screen their films. Past guests have included Oscar-winning Robert Elswit, the director of photography for There Will Be Blood; Francesco Tabone, noted Mexican documentarian; and Bruce Cohen, the producer of American Beauty and Big Fish.

Student Union Collection

The Student Union Collection of Contemporary Art is unique in that it is conceived by students, selected by student committees and purchased entirely with University funds. Every four years since the first New York buying trip in 1963, a small group of students, under the direction of an art department faculty member, has researched the contemporary American art scene and purchased new works.

START Gallery

The START Gallery, Wake Forest University’s student art gallery located in Reynolda Village, is unique in that it serves as a year-round venue for viewing, discussing, and purchasing student works of visual art. Presenting 12 to 15 exhibitions per year, the gallery provides undergraduates and alumni with an opportunity to gain immersive experience and transferable skills in the visual arts market by developing a setting in which high quality student art is available at reasonable prices.

Museum of Anthropology

The Museum of Anthropology‘s permanent collection consists of objects from the Americas, Africa, Asia, and Oceania, including household and ceremonial items, textiles, hunting and fishing gear, and objects of personal adornment. Materials collected by Moravian missionaries can be found here, as well as prehistoric artifacts from North Carolina’s Yadkin River Valley. The special exhibits gallery houses exhibitions reflecting University and community interests and provides faculty and students opportunities to develop and install exhibits, research and care for collections, and produce special class project exhibits.

Hanes Art Gallery

The Charlotte and Philip Hanes Art Gallery at Scales Fine Arts Center provides an ongoing schedule of exciting art exhibits, and it features student exhibitions as well as work by Pablo Picasso, Roy Liechtenstein, Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns and Keith Haring, among others.

Secrest Artist Series

The Secrest Artist Series was established to bring the best performing artists to campus — all free of charge to students, faculty and staff.

Reynolda House

Reynolda House, Museum of American Art, boasts one of the finest collections of American art in the Southeast, ranging from the colonial period to the present. The museum features works by Albert Bierstadt, John Singleton Copley and Grant Wood, all in the distinct setting of the historic home of Katharine and R.J. Reynolds, located a short walk from campus.

Tulips bloom in front of the entrance to Wake Forest University

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An aerial view of the Z. Smith Reynolds Library, on the campus of Wake Forest University

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