Draw & Paint Night opens a door of art

Mingzhu Zhu

The first public Draw & Paint Night, presented by the Washburn Art Club, offered hands-on experience for creating artworks. It took place from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Nov. 8 at Monette Mark’s Fire Me Up Ceramics in NOTO Topeka. All supplies were provided for participants.

Gabbi Rollins, a senior general studios major, is the president of Washburn Art Club. She’s one of the organizers of the Draw & Paint Night.

“Having a way with art, you can express yourselves and people don’t judge it,” said Rollins. “This event gives an opportunity to just come here to sit and draw and just forget about it and enjoy themselves.”

Two instructors, Yue Li and Kyra Miller, both seniors, painting and drawing major, provided instructions for the two sessions, painting and drawing. People who don’t do art on a regular basis could come to the event and have fun.

“We have experts, like Yue and Kyra, help guide beginners, hold their hand and help them step by step,” said Rollins. “For other people, we give them a free range to go on their own and then we check in with them to make sure they’re okay and they’re not stuck.”

Washburn Art Club members helped to set the supplies and prepare the still life. They also had snacks and drinks for people to enjoy.

“I feel like it’s a great way to express how you’re feeling through pictures or drawings, because sometimes you just can’t really talk about it. I think that’s how art is important,” said Miller.

Beginners were welcome to Draw & Paint Night, not only those with intermediate or advanced skills. The event opened a door of art for everyone.

Muffy Walter, an English professor at Washburn, gained her drawing experience at the event. Li guided her step by step in the drawing process. Even though she’s a beginner, she created a great still life.

Walter is an art lover. She spent a fair amount of time at Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City. There she can support art and understand people’s cultures.

“I have a little bit of confidence. This is something I could actually learn how to do,” said Walter. “I never would have seen what [Li] was seeing. I think that was really helpful to have her perspective on it, because it’s not how I look at this.”

Washburn Art Club members are enthusiastic to help people and give them guidance with their experience in this field. They encourage the community to go to NOTO Topeka and visit local galleries. Art Club will hold more public art events in the future. For more information, visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Washburnartclub/.

Edited by Jessica Galvin, Adam White, Brianna Smith