PA Student Adriana DaCosta Selected for 2024 DUU VisArts Student Art Gallery Exhibit in Brown Gallery


Second-year PA student Adriana DaCosta will have two pieces of art on display at the
Brown Gallery Student Art Exhibition, hosted by Duke University Union's VisArts, in the Bryan Center from March 4th through April 8th. There will be an opening reception on Thursday, March 7, from 6:30-8:30 pm.


Adriana writes:

I remember having a swap day in elementary school where we could bring whatever we wanted to swap with classmates. For my swap, I decided to free-hand draw the Space Jam characters. I had always loved to draw, and along the way, I told myself that I wasn’t very good at it. Over the next several years, I’d paint a portrait here and there as a gift for a family member or friend and was always hyper critical of my work.

Later I realized that I was likely critical of my work because I was using oil as my medium of choice and it is not the best for a person who lacks patience for that medium. It wasn’t until my first year at Duke that I really ventured out to do art more consistently. I started playing around with clay and acrylic and custom-painted some shoes for myself.  Painting of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Adriana DaCosta

However, it wasn’t until my classmates Liz, Lila, and Amanda reached out to me to create art for our PA school prom that I really started to believe that maybe my art wasn’t half bad. For the PA prom, I created three pieces, one of which I’m proud to say garnered $125 for charity and is one of my favorite pieces to date, a portrait of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

When I read that DUU VisArts was accepting applications for art pieces for their Student Art exhibition, I submitted three photography pieces and one drawing, 99% expecting for my pieces to not be chosen. To my surprise, my charcoal and coffee-stained drawing titled “tired PA student,” which is a self-portrait of sorts, and a photograph called “Transient Beauty” taken at Duke Gardens were chosen to be displayed at the Brown Gallery Student Art Exhibition from March 4th- April 8th.

While I will not be able to attend the opening reception on the 7th of March due to being a “Tired PA student” on an away rotation, I’m beyond elated to see my pieces on display when I return because art had never before been something I had been proud of and while I may be pedantic towards my work, the process of making art with all of its mistakes is one I’ve come to enjoy.



Return to Duke Physician Assistant Program