By Roderick Elston
Though the Xavier University of Louisiana is known for its science majors, there is a wide range of creatives on the small campus. These creatives have the motive to attend college in New Orleans with the goal to get their foot in the door in the arts. For some, this goal is not as attainable as it sounds. When the majority of students live off-campus, it reflects the campus’s culture in all aspects, the same culture that fuels various creative outlets.
“Sometimes you can fit your art to your audience in a way that’s so particular that it’s impossible to grow out of the small pond,” said Paul Thomas when asked about the negatives of gaining exposure on a small campus. Thomas, also known for his stage name, 773Pluto, is a recording artist from Chicago who is studying Business Sales and Marketing at XULA.
“When the campus is small, there’s less influence to try to please the masses so you get more time to stay true to yourself and do it for the sake of doing it,” Thomas said.
Videographer, Jaxson Davis, tells a different perspective, “I think it’s important to extend yourself outside of the people you see every day because as much as you can accomplish on campus, nine times out of ten, your biggest opportunity will come from outside of that.” Davis, also known as Lovejaxsn, is a Biology major from Pine Bluff, Arkansas.
As a reflecting Senior at XULA, he feels as though he has reached a point where he has the ability to bridge gaps those who come after him may have in their artistic careers. One roadblock at a time, Xavier University of Louisiana and its students improve by the school year. The awareness of introducing a consumer market for artists is the first step to enhancing the HBCU experience for people traveling across the country.
John Turner is a spoken word poet from Chicago. Based on his first year at XULA, he noticed there were many artists on campus without a platform. Turner offers the solution of creating a space for artists to build off of each other using platforms such as Twitter for presence and GroupMe for internal communication.
“The culture could come together to create meetings where more art is being displayed,” Turner said. “Possibly start a page for just XULA artists. Maybe form a group catered to artists of all forms.”