Many clubs have had to completely change their model for getting together and engaging in meaningful meetings, while staying safe in the age of a pandemic. Fairfield University’s art club has been no exception to this. I recently spoke with art club president Aubrey Hoover ‘21 about her challenges in leading the club during this time. It was clear from The Mirror’s short interview, via email, that she is passionate about the art club because, to her, the club is a place for free expression and an opportunity for students to get away from the stress of school, even just for the duration of a meeting.
Speaking from personal experience, college work can pile up into mountains, and art provides an avenue for stress relief by using your brain in a new way. The left side of the brain is responsible for the logical tasks of mathematical formulas and scientific hypotheses. So, after long lectures of calculus, accounting or anatomy, our right side of the brain is neglected, which is the part related to tasks having to do with creativity and free thinking.
When asked about what events the art club hosts, Hoover said that the club is not about that. It’s about a close knit artistic community whose members continue to come back.
“For the other officers and myself, our greatest accomplishment is getting people to come back week after week,” Hoover added.
This semester’s meetings are different because of having to align with the University’s new health guidelines. Hoover informed me that meetings have had to be kept to ten people or less, with required reservations beforehand. She mentioned how this mandatory limit on attendance has caused a lower energy level in the meetings than what was felt pre-pandemic, but members remain optimistic and try to maintain the space as one of positivity.
In terms of moving forward for the club, Hoover said that they are planning a collaboration with the Art for Change organization, where art club members are paired with people from the organization, with the end goal of creating artworks and galleries online.
In terms of other arts and crafts experiences on campus, Fairfield University has got plenty. Fairfield at Night has been very active in hosting events after hours, especially with Halloween now creeping up on us in the coming weeks. Recently there have been do-it-yourself craft nights to make spooky decorations for your dorm room. A student favorite has been the jack-o’-lantern painting competition, where students received brushes, paints and a little pumpkin to decorate in any way they wanted. There were prizes for those entered in the competition as well. Additionally, there will be an upcoming DIY night to make your own fall wreaths. This event is scheduled for Oct. 29, at 9:00 p.m. – check Life@Fairfield for updates.
Autumn may bring with it anxiety over upcoming midterms, exams and assignments. However, take the time to pause and enjoy the walks on campus. Appreciate the magnificent hues of the leaves, or take some Instagram worthy pictures at a local orchard. Take time to let your inner artist shine.
If you, or someone you know, could use some much needed stress relief and free flowing artistic energy, you can learn more about the art club via their Life@Fairfield page.
Matthew Adamski is a Fairfield University Student Association Senator for the Class of 2024.