Reviewed Art and Art History Club hosts DIY tote bag craft night

By Heather Fabritze
Elm Staff Writer

Washington College’s newly reinstated Art and Art History Club hosted their first interest meeting, a painting event, on Tuesday, Nov. 9 in the Hodson Goosenest.

The club, which was revived by senior Elizabeth Tilley, focuses on cultivating artistic interest and talent among WC students, including those who do not view themselves as traditional artists. According to the meeting flyer, it aims to “establish a creative community” on campus.

Membership is open to all, regardless of experience.

The first meeting began at 7 p.m. and included a Do-It-Yourself tote bag craft. The club provided Arteza fabric markers, paints, and tote bags for every attendee.

Tilley, who is double majoring in psychology and art and art history and is the president of the club, has wanted to revive the organization since she was a freshman; however, it kept “escaping” them.

“When I came here, I wanted this so bad,” Tilley said. “I wanted a place like this and there just wasn’t a place for it. So, I wanted to make it.”

She hoped to convey a convivial atmosphere at the meeting by playing music in the background and setting up areas for groups to sit together. Many participants shared supplies.

Part of the reason that junior Amelia Bonsib attended was because it was an opportunity to create art that she’s ordinarily unable to.

“Art is fun and I don’t have supplies to do any kind of painting,” Bonsib said. “And I heard that there were going to be tote bags and I’ve been wanting a tote bag.”

Multiple attendees chose to paint frogs on their tote bags, while others decided on plant-based looks. Some drew abstract designs or patterns with paint pens.

Bonsib, in the future, would love to see an activity where everyone collaborates on one large canvas. Others, like sophomore Rachel Merson, hope to see different types of art represented, like textiles.

Tilley already has plans to branch out with field trips and photo labs, which she was able to participate in during their high school years.

“We would have photo days where we’d have crafts, different lights, different lighting, and different stations, and you would just take photos with different people,” Tilley said.

Tilley plans on reaching out via an email chain to gauge interest in having weekly meetings, in order to continue building a close connection between club members.

Tilley feels that artists at WC often get “stuck” in the gap between athletics and Greek life, and wanted to give them a safe space of their own to meet others with similar interests.

“This club is just something more social for students to be able to connect with other creative people,” Tilley said. “There isn’t a great place for that except for art classes and sometimes it’s really overwhelming to sign up for an art class, and you’re like, ‘Oh, I’m not gonna get a good grade’ or, ‘There’s gonna be better artists than me.’ I don’t want people to judge, I want people to come and have fun. I want people to make friends.”

Merson, who attended the meeting because her friend informed her of it, already feels that this club is going to allow her to expand her social circle.

“It seemed like a really fun way to meet people,” Merson said.

This is exactly the idea that Tilley hoped to portray with their renewed organization, and they encourage all students even slightly considering joining to attend the next meeting.

“If you’re looking for something that’s not like everything else, then come here,” Tilley said.

Photo by Sammy Jarrett
Featured Photo Caption: At the Art and Art History Club’s first meeting, plenty of art supplies such as paints, markers, and brushes were offered to students to encourage their creativity by decorating their tote bags.

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