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The art of partying

Quinn ScahillThese days, everyone seems to be claiming to be an artist: craft brewers, barbers, bakers, chefs and Drake. I don’t mean to say these people aren’t honing valuable crafts, but if they’re all considered artists, I’m hopping on that train too.

Right now you must be wondering how or why a sticky, unsightly fiasco like a college party could be considered “art.”


Well, if I remember correctly, Andres Serrano pissed in a jar, put a crucifix inside, called it Piss Christ, and won an award for it. Even before that, Marcel Duchamp put a urinal in an art gallery, and called it Fountain. If that’s considered art, then every bathroom at every party house in the world should have a place in the Smithsonian Museum.

But consider for a moment what a party actually is. It comprises almost all art forms:  music, dancing and conversation (storytelling). People often take pictures (photography) and sometimes videos (film). There might be some people drinking craft beer too, but artists are always drunk, so that’s nothing new.

As you can see, parties are merely a mixture of performance arts, visual arts and creative arts. The dudes in the corner shot-gunning beers are your performance artists, the lousy kid creating a Jackson Pollock painting in your toilet is your visual artist, and that one kid who keeps telling you long stories and forgetting what they’re about – that’s your poet.

With all art, though, there is a right and a wrong way to go about creating it. Some art is good, and some is very bad. The same goes with parties: there is a right and a wrong way to throw them.

First off, if you’re going to throw a party, you have to realize you are making a sacrifice. Every great artist suffers to create a masterpiece. You have to come to terms with the fact that you’re about to let a bunch of people walk inside, do whatever they feel like and then leave a few hours later. After pouring in all your time and effort to your shindig, you’ll only be left with a wretched house, an upset stomach, and an empty wallet.

Second. Don’t register your party. Why would you tell the authorities of your plans to cause a ruckus? Do you think F. Scott Fitzgerald blabbered to everyone about how he was writing The Great Gatsby?

No way. No artist ever flaunts his masterpiece before completing it. The only party that I’ve ever registered got broken up — weird, huh?

Lastly: share your booze and don’t expect to know everyone at your own party. Art is ultimately very selfless, and if partying is now an art form too, then you’d better be willing to contribute to your own masterpiece. A beautiful painting viewed by only one person doesn’t make it very beautiful. Same goes with hidden caches of booze — just share. It’s better when everybody can enjoy something together.

Even if you’re not buying what I’m saying, I still believe that parties hold something inherently beautiful in the fact that they thrive off of emotion and chaos.


Is that not poetry?

Quinn Scahill is a senior English major. His columns appear Fridays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to

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