Painting brings students together

Students gathered in the KnightSpot last Thursday evening to participate in an innovative and fun-filled event called Paint Your Heart Out.

Hosted by Activities Commission, the three-hour event kicked off the organization's third annual Winter Week, which included other activities such as window painting, a lip-sync competition and the Winter Ball.

Sophomore Lee Anne Murphy described the purpose of Paint your Heart Out. "It serves as a break from the academic life here at Geneseo, in which students can come and express themselves through art to relive any stress that they might have," Murphy said.

AC Arts and Exhibits chair, junior Jenny Whittaker, originally came up with the idea for the event after becoming inspired by her own involvement with art.

As a former teacher's assistant for an art course and someone who has planned out various art exhibits in the Kinetic Gallery, Whittaker used this opportunity to share art across the Geneseo campus as an expressive hobby that anyone could enjoy.

AC Special Events Coordinator senior Lashni Munasinghe helped Whittaker, alongside Murphy, to organize and put their ideas into action. AC provided the necessary tools such as paints, canvas, brushes and cups.

According to Murphy, the trio chose the KnightSpot as the site for the event because of its convenient size and qualities. "We have a DJ booth so that the students can hear the music that they requested," she said. "The dimmed lights aid in relaxation and the smaller, intimate setting allows for a homier, more comfortable environment in which students can express themselves."

Thursday's Paint Your Heart Out was organized for the second time and various changes were made to ensure an even more promising turnout than at last year's event.

Prior to the occasion, a wooden box decorated in colorful paints was displayed in the College Union asking students in passing to slip in any music suggestions that they would like to hear while attending the event.

Murphy stressed the importance of the music suggestion box, saying, "We decided to hold the suggestion box because music can often spark inspiration and we really wanted this event to cater to the student's creative needs."

This year also offered cloth canvases as opposed to last year's wooden boards. "Not only did the cloth canvases serve as a cost effective alternative to the wooden boards, but they are also easier to paint on and provide a better finished look," Murphy said.

Despite the cloth having its advantages, some students preferred last year's material. "Paint Your Heart Out was fun, but I wish they provided the wooden boards that they had last year," said junior Jessica Cervini.

The event had a successful turnout, with such an abundant number of attendees that students were working both at the provided tables and on the KnightSpot floor.

At the end of the night students had the option of handing their paintings in to be displayed later as a student collection.

Murphy encouraged students to go to other AC sponsored events. "Our events have something for everyone," she said. "We strive to make Geneseo a fun and active environment."