In the month of Feb., there are multiple events that were held or are being held to celebrate Black History Month. The events ranged from panel discussions, presentations from professors and even a trivia night. However, included in the line up of the events was a Unity Paint Night (this is also apart of Unity Week), which is hosted by Black Student League (BSL) and Multicultural Awareness Advisory Committee (MAAC) as are all the other events. Providing a Unity Paint Night is not only a fun and interactive way to engage students in the message of this important month, but it allows students to creatively express themselves in way that also celebrates diversity. On Friday Feb. 21, this event was hosted in the Gough Seminar room beginning at 8pm.
At the start of the event, several coordinators for the event brought in brand new canvases for everyone to paint on. They also included a huge container filled with supplies that were needed such as paint, paintbrushes and water cups. Several tables were put together to provide all the attendees with a roomy painting space. Thaliah Sicard, who is a guest of MAAC, provided with an example image for everyone to paint and led the event.
The example painting was that of a young Black girl with an afro and a crown placed on top of her head. The example started with a very colorful background with a mash of different colors. The body of the girl herself was painted with thinner lines of black paint. This more silhouette style of painting was a relatively easy choice for people who are beginners at painting. The simple choice of painting allowed for painters of all varieties be able to create something beautiful and something that they would be proud of.
Guests of the Unity Paint Night were also free to paint a variation of the example, or create something completely original. There were several attendees who decided to alter some details on their own paintings. Some changed the hair to be in a bun, while others added more intricate backgrounds and even phrases or words. As the event progressed, Sicard and Abigail Slater, a club leader of The Society of Art and Illustration, offered advice and guidance to those struggling with certain painting techniques, such as texture, color choice and how to fix little mistakes in the painting process.
Overall, the Unity Week Painting Night, was not only a fun and interactive way to celebrate diversity, but it was also held on a Friday night, one of the best times to destress and relax after a busy and hectic school week filled with classes, work and assignments. Not only that, but the core element of this event was remembering that the arts also play a part in representation. In art, whether it is painting, writing or photography, all types of people should be able to see themselves and relate to it.
This Unity Week Painting night was one of the last and final events planned during the course of this month. It was a fun way to finish off the month filled with events that emphasized the importance of Black representation. If you are interested in the last remaining event relating to Black History Month, on Feb. 27 in the Walton Prayer Chapel, Lexi Dunbar will host “Prayers for Social Justice” at 12pm. If you can make it, check it out, you definitely won’t regret it!