Montclair State students channeled their artistic side during Student Life at Montclair’s (SLAM) canvas painting event for Homecoming Week on Oct. 19. The event was inspired by the Tin Man from “The Wizard of Oz,” as students strived to put the art in heart by painting Montclair State’s beloved school mascot, Rocky the Redhawk.
Students had the opportunity to attend one of two painting sessions offered during the day to allow more people the chance to paint if they had a conflict with one of the session times. Tables were spread out throughout the Student Center Ballroom with everything they would need including smocks, canvases, paintbrushes and a plate full of different colored paints.
Tomika from Amped Events, a company based in Charlotte, North Carolina, led the painting class and promoted positivity and school spirit with her canvas painting of Rocky, soaring with his wings outstreched while clutching a banner. While students also had the option to free roam with their painting designs, Tomika said all of the paintings came out really well and the sessions went great.
Tomika was contacted by SLAM to create a painting design for Homecoming and sent her pictures of Rocky. After seeing the mascot, she designed something from there that was structured in its design but still allowed students to utilize their own creativity. Tomika stressed the importance of having fun and knowing that everyone’s paintings will be different but it’ll still be an enjoyable experience to create something and meet new people while doing it.
Students were given an outline of the Red Hawk design and tracing paper to create the basic design for their portrait. From there, Tomika helpfully led students step by step with each color by allowing students to pick things like the color and message of the banner and the background and letting them paint at their own pace.
Abigail Stokes, an undeclared freshman, and Julia Truskolawski, a sophomore theater studies major, said the design definitely showed school spirit and even though they had classes immediately afterward, the event was very relaxing.
“It was something different that SLAM’s never done before,” Stokes said.
Both Stokes and Truskolawski agreed that if SLAM scheduled another canvas painting event in the future, they would definitely attend.