On Tuesday, December 4, a Sip & Paint night was held in Barney Davis 110 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., where students were given cold beverages and blank canvases to combat the stress of finals.
The event was hosted by the JED Healthy Campus Team and the Agape Christian Community. The JED Foundation supports mental health practices on campus, and the Agape Christian Fellowship is a community exclusively for Christian students at Denison. Both organizations collaborated for this event by sponsoring a selection of non-alcoholic beverages along with dinner from Chipotle.
When everyone was seated, Whisler staff counselor Jack Wheeler gave a presentation on the importance of mental health. He informed students about the different resources available for mental health issues and gave them some valuable insights on how to detect these symptoms early. After the talk, students helped themselves to some food and drinks before picking out the colors they wanted to paint with.
“Events like this help bring awareness to mental health while giving the community a shared space to get to know one another. I’m incredibly thankful to have been able to participate in something that brings together students to de-stress through art and education. I’m really hopeful for the impact it’ll make on mental wellness events on campus in the future. It’s a small first step, but it’s an important one,” said Sarah Droder ‘19, a double major in psychology and communication from Aurora, Ohio.
The organizers of the event also provided many colored print-outs of previously done paintings which students could use as a reference. While some relied on those references for inspiration, others decided to carry out a more free-style approach by letting their brush strokes move uninhibited. In the end, all finished paintings looked rich and vibrant employing their own unique form and style.
“I’m thankful so many people attended and had a chance to unplug from the business of Denison. I think it’s important to come together no matter what major or background you are and participate in something that might be out of your comfort zone to just connect with each other. This was the first event I have ever hosted and I’m so pleased with how it turned out,” said Courtney Broady ’19, a biology major from Gahanna, Ohio who’s the president of Agape and the organizer of this event. Events like these create a sense of relaxation and creativity among students, while also encouraging them to maintain a strong community and look out for each other.