Practicing Arts at Oberlin
A silent video showing scenes of the arts at Oberlin:
- Shot of paintbrush and paints
- A student painting at an easel
- Two students talking
- A painting student and a teacher talking
- A student film shoot
- A student playing cello outdoors
- Two students working at a laptop
- A student percussion recording session
- A dance teacher and students
- A student dancing
- Students performing a dance
- A sheet with a poem
- A creative writing student teaching at a local school
- A student leading a creative writing workshop
- A theater class
- A teacher and student talking backstage
- Students on state in costumes
- A professor playing piano for a theater rehearsal
The video loops back to the beginning.
The practicing arts at Oberlin combines intensive studio training in a chosen medium with the intellectual dynamism of a liberal arts campus. Our students find their creative direction by working closely with faculty artists and collaborating on groundbreaking work with their friends and peers.
Oberlin Practicing Arts at a Glance
Art empowers change.
Art is a powerful tool for inspiring social change. It touches our hearts and minds and stirs us to act. From poetry in local schools, to nationally recognized documentaries and Black arts on a global stage, Oberlin artists help to transform the world.
Practicing Arts in the Curriculum
An Oberlin arts education is interdisciplinary at every level. Our students stay attuned to the latest cultural trends while creating spaces to experiment and push the boundaries of traditional forms.
Julia Christensen, Professor of Studio Art
Roll Up Your Sleeves
From fiction workshops to the letterpress, sculpture studios to fabrication labs, Oberlin students gain hands-on experience at every stage of the artistic process.
The Campus Is Your Stage
With numerous faculty-led and student-driven productions, readings, exhibitions, and performances, the Oberlin campus invites students to create a vibrant, year-round artistic community.
Form and Feeling
An Oberlin arts education combines critical inquiry with rigorous daily practice to prepare students for a lifelong creative career.
The College-Conservatory Connection
Oberlin’s college-conservatory synergy inspires profound collaborations between musicians and artists working in dance, film, theater, creative writing, and new media forms.
During my four years at Oberlin I always felt heard, encouraged, and inspired. With support from both my professors and peers, I learned the true meaning of creative freedom and collaboration.
Christy Chen ’22
Cinema Studies major
Currently pursuing an MFA in Filmmaking at USC
Obies in the Arts
Each Obie has their own unique pathway through college and beyond. Read a sampling of creative alumni profiles.
Dance Practice as Research
After a six-month exploration of performance in Filipino American communities, Kara Nepomuceno ’20 performed “Side by Side” at the Asia Pacific Dance Festival Conference.
Stories for a Global Community
Olive Nwosu ’13 discovered her creative passion in Cinema Studies and is now completing an MFA in Screenwriting at Columbia, where she’s a BAFTA Scholar, an Alex Sichel Fellow at Columbia University School of the Arts, and one of four African Promises directors in the Institut Français’ Africa-2020 Programme.
A Career in Theater
Arif Silverman ’15 was a theater major at Oberlin who took plenty of courses in English, French, and classics. He is now a New York-based actor and writer with credits in theater, film, and radio, as well as a children’s musical and three solo shows.
Early Success as a Playwright
At Oberlin, B.J. Tindal worked closely with professor Caroline Jackson Smith. Upon completing the graduate program in writing for the screen and stage at Northwestern University, the 2016 alum returned to campus for the opening of the Oberlin theater mainstage production of What We Look Like, a play he developed during his first year at Oberlin.
Novelist and MacArthur Winner
Kiese Laymon ’98, a writer and educator whose works chronicle the Black experience through the lens of his Mississippi upbringing, was named a MacArthur Foundation Fellow for 2022, one of the nation’s most prestigious and lucrative honors.
Writing for Comedy
Since graduating from Oberlin, Max Cohn ’14 has been a contributing humor writer for McSweeney’s and the New Yorker. He has also worked in television for The Simpsons and Comedy Central.