Art is a way for many students to express their ideas, release their thoughts, and just be themselves.
An Art Club recently was added to the to their list of organizations and clubs at South Plains College. Just in its first semester, Art Club already has held different events involving painting pumpkins, painting bowls and making their own Christmas ornaments.
Art Club provides a calm and welcoming environment for students, whether they are art majors or non-art majors.
“I wanted a way for students to meet other artists that are on campus,” says Kristy Kristinek, Art Club sponsor and instructor of art in the Fine Arts Department.
At the beginning of every month, the students meet in the Painting Lab in the Fine Arts Building to discuss their next events and talk about what is new in their lives. Art Club provides a safe place for students to just relax and do what they love.
According to Kristinek, the purpose for starting the Art Club was to create a sense of community for art and non-art majors.
For many of the club members, art has been a part of their life for years, some beginning at the age of 5 and some discovering their passion in high school. For Kristinek, her art career began at the age of 5.
Kristinek didn’t know she wanted to expand her art career into teaching until she was an undergraduate student. Professors she had inspired her to be a teacher.
“Art influenced my life in a positive way,” says Kristinek. “It helped me finally find where I belong.”
Kristinek, said she hopes that the club affects the students in a positive way, just like it has for her. Art Club has done that for many of the members. Just by attending one meeting, the students fell in love with art and what the club offers.
“My instructor at the time began talking to me about it,” said Jessica Marshall, a sophomore art major from Andrews. “Then I went to the first meeting and fell in love. It just makes me happy.”
For Marshall, art has always been a part of her life.
“I plan on owning my own art studio and being an art teacher there,” Marshall says. Art has helped Marshall find her place and what she loves to do.
“Where hasn’t it impacted my life?” says Marshall. “I love how creative and expressive someone can be with just the simplest things.”
According to Marshall, art has shown her a lot about other cultures, as well about her own.
“Art is one of the many devices we can use to understand others,” says Marshall.
The Art Club has recruited non-art majors as well. Just like Marshall, Brandon Lofton, a wildlife biology major, went to one meeting and decided that Art Club was where he wanted to spend his time. Art Club is a good way to take a break from class and all the real-world stress.
“I like the atmosphere,” says Lofton. “It is very relaxing.”
Lofton says he decided on wildlife biology as a major because of his love of nature, but finding the Art Club allowed him to combine two things he loves, art and nature.
“Nature is its own kind of art,” says Lofton. “I find art beautiful as well, and if you combine both, you get landscape paintings.”
Along with other art enthusiasts, Rebekah Harvey says she finds the Art Club as a way to relieve stress. According to Harvey, it’s very calming for her. Art grew on her. Before art, she expressed herself through dance. Eventually, she needed to find another outlet.
“I’ve always had an eye for things involving art,” says Harvey. “I love looking at aesthetic, pleasing things.”
During the past few months, Art Club has brought students together, given students an escape from life, and an outlet to express themselves. It has impacted each student in different ways. Kristinek says she has high hopes for Art Club, expecting it to grow and get involved in the community.
“Art Club is a way for students to feel like they are a part of something bigger than themselves,” says Kristinek.