By Cinara Marquis
The Plattsburgh Association of the Visual Arts and TRIO Student Support Services held an art therapy night the first Thursday of November.
PAVA is a club that brings art to the campus. TRIO SSS is an academic support program, the goal of which is to help students transition successfully into college and have a good experience at SUNY Plattsburgh.
The two programs came together to provide an opportunity for students and faculty to express their emotions and artistic talent as a way to relieve stress.
President of PAVA Mckenna Brazie said, “We wanted to do an art therapy event, and through our connections with SSS, we made it work.”
In the Relaford Room in Macomb Hall, attendees colored coasters with vivid markers and sprayed them with isopropyl alcohol to give them a marble effect. There were yummy snacks, relaxing music and good company.
First, attendees were given sharpies of various colors and were tasked with drawing whatever they wished on the blank white coasters. Some people drew green spiderwebs, others rainbows and characters from video games and movies.
Afterward, students could decide whether they wanted to spray them with isopropyl alcohol to dilute them or keep them as is.
After the coasters were finished, they were sprayed with a clear top coat to protect the designs from fading. Many experimented with the marble effect and each design came out unique – it was fun and relaxing to create art with like-minded people.
Brazie wrote in an email: “PAVA’s mission has always been to create a space for art majors and non-art majors to come together and create in a relaxed environment with low expectations. We strive to explore all different mediums, especially mediums even art majors may be unfamiliar with.”
Many students at the event had never created coasters before and weren’t sure where to begin, but PAVA gave steps to the process and helpful feedback on ideas.
She continued, “We also do our best to educate members on art forms, art therapy, art-related events, and art history. We regularly volunteer for art events and hold critiques, which opens up different opportunities for our members as well.”
PAVA has hosted various events this semester, from air-dry clay, painting reclaimed canvases, wax candle making and visiting artist lectures.
One student who attended was Trinh Quang, who said: “Art is fun. It’s a fun night to meet new people and art majors who share my interests.”
Quang is an artist who has attended a few PAVA events and is excited to attend more.
“We’ve done clay and I made a hamster, and today I made a pink spider on a coaster. It’s fun to try new things,” Quang said.
Brazie and PAVA allow people to fully express themselves through their art regardless of how it comes out.
“PAVA was inactive for a few semesters because of COVID, so the campus was in a slump without it – where else could art be made in such a fun environment with little risk, with no bad grade for something poorly made? With it now back on campus, art at Plattsburgh can continue to grow,” Brazie said.
For future PAVA events, you can contact Brazie at email@example.com.
For future TRIO events, you can contact Director Shatawndra Lister at firstname.lastname@example.org.