BSU builds connections with WC community via Stop and Paint event

By Heather Fabritze
Elm Staff Writer

The Black Student Union worked to cultivate stronger community relations with non-union members at an art-based event hosted in the Hodson Hall Egg on Wednesday, Oct. 20.

The gathering, titled “Stop and Paint,” began at 8 p.m. BSU set up four tables covered in mini easels for participants prior to the event. Small tubes of paint, as well as various sized paintbrushes, were provided as well.

Pizza was also available for members and non-members alike.

Freshman Sky Abruzzo, in addition to simply finding the event “interesting,” was looking forward to gaining an additional decorative memory.

“I think it’ll be fun to take a little painting home,” Abruzzo said.

The event was not simply a normal painting session, though. Added challenges came in the rules for the evening — attendees could only paint while there was music playing. Brushes had to be put down the moment the music stopped.

Each halt to the music also required participants to switch between different poses or to do various challenges. Some examples included switching between their dominant and nondominant hands, painting behind their backs, closing one or both eyes, or standing on one leg.

Other stranger ones included painting while simultaneously singing along with “Party in the USA” by Miley Cyrus or dancing the Cha Cha Slide.

Junior and President of BSU Jonah Nicholson enjoyed brainstorming the various poses and felt that they “added character” to what would have been a simple paint night.

These added restrictions posed a challenge for some attendees, especially those who went in with a specific plan.

Others, like freshman Eddie Perri, brainstormed ideas of what to paint on the spot.

“It’s gonna be a last-minute decision, made at the margin,” Perri said.

Many paintings at the event evolved throughout the night, becoming different from what their painters initially planned.

Once everyone finished working on their art, BSU members brought out two canvases for participants to sign their names on with paint. There are plans in place to hang them in the BSU office to commemorate the event and those who attended.

The signed canvases were reflective of an evening that, according to Nicholson, was intended to bring people together.

“We hope that [attendees] take just a sense of community and friendship, and knowing that you don’t have to be Black to be a part…of Black Student Union,” Nicholson said. “It’s a union. All students are welcome, all students are here, and clearly, we have students of all different races here and it’s really fun to see everybody.”

The potential of community was the primary reason that some students, like freshman Olivia Daniels, decided to come to the event.

“I was a part of the BSU at my [high] school and I really found a community within BSU,” Daniels said. “And, two, because this seems like it’s gonna be a very fun activity.”

Nicholson encouraged other students to take advantage of BSU’s collaborative events in the future and to get involved with Washington College’s Black community.

“To get more connected with us, become allies, and just really know that we’re more than just trying to fight for our space on campus … We have spaces already. We’re fun people, we don’t bite, and this is just one of the ways that we can show it,” Nicholson said.

Photos by Kayla Thorington

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