By Bryn Fawn
SUNY Plattsburgh has a vast display of art on campus and ensures there is always something to look at. Whether it’s the sculpture garden in Myers, or an exhibit in the Feinberg Library, there is always something trying to catch attention. Yet, there hasn’t been an active art club in recent years.
Plattsburgh’s Association for the Visual Arts, PAVA, returned with its first meeting Thursday, Feb. 16, in the Myers gallery. Participants were invited to decorate sticky notes, which were then used to spell out “PAVA!” on one of the large boards in the room. A poster was left atop the display, noting that others are allowed to add to the collective mural and advertising when PAVA holds meetings. PAVA meets on the first and third Thursdays of every month in Myers 224 at 6:30 p.m. The next meeting will be March 2.
Alexander Finkey, a junior art major and PAVA’s president said: “PAVA has actually had a really long standing of the community, as it has been a club for a very long time. Due to COVID-19, however, it lost a lot of popularity and as said before, ended up falling apart.”
PAVA is recognized and funded by the Student Association. The club hopes to connect and reach both art and non-art students.
“We want to invite non-art majors to join us,” McKenna Brazie said. “We all relax and talk while we work through things, and every one’s thoughts and opinions are valued.”
Brazie, a junior art major and PAVA’s vice president, explained PAVA’s hopes to provide art-related events that are “not offered elsewhere on campus.”
“We have a lot of goals this semester, including attempts to beautify campus with art, but they are still in the works,” Brazie said. “Overall, this semester we just want to revive PAVA.”
Abigail Duquette, a junior art studio major and PAVA’s treasurer, shared that PAVA plans to also allow aspiring artists to share their portfolios and have peer critiques.
“I feel safe sharing my ideas and I can collaborate with other artists,” Duquette said.
Brazie shared that future events may involve origami night, a workshop on how to build a portfolio and a paint-and-sip event. Finkey and Duquette said it would be a “Cookies-and-Canvas” where, instead of drinks, cookies are the select treat.
Brazie shared how the club is having a rebirth, like a phoenix, coming back from the ashes.
“Everyone currently on the e-board is basically starting from scratch,” Brazie said.
With fresh faces come fresh ideas and hope for PAVA to flourish once again.
“PAVA was not run last semester, and with the growing support from first and second years, it was a no-brainer to restart the club,” Finkey said. “[There’s a] new group of members with a lot of ideas and visions.”
The atmosphere of PAVA is relaxing and accepting, as described by Finkey and Duquette.
“The hope is for others to be comfortable to join and share their art, a deeply vulnerable act,” Duquette said.
Those with questions can contact their instagram @pava_plattsburgh or contact their president at email@example.com.
“The best part about PAVA is the people,” Brazie said. “Everyone who runs it and comes to the meetings wants to be there and make art because they genuinely enjoy it.”