Nature and art combine at Plant and Paint Night

First joint event by SOFASA and UMSU debuts during Sustainability Week

Image provided

UMSU and the School of Fine Arts Student Association (SOFASA) hosted their Plant and Paint Night event on Nov. 22. 

The event marked the first joint initiative between SOFASA and UMSU. The student association and the union teamed up for the paint night to promote UMSU’s Sustainability Week, which took place from Nov. 20 to 24. Attendees were provided with materials to paint plant pots and plant a succulent in their finished pieces.  

Co-president of SOFASA Charli Feener said the Plant and Paint Night was a chance to take an “environmentally focused” approach to art.  

Students had the opportunity to paint and design whatever they wanted on their pots. Feener said this open structure was intended to make the event “a little more meditative” than a guided painting experience, allowing painters to “embrace the creativity and the chaos that comes with it.”

“It’s what we do a lot in our faculty,” she said. 

The night was a comfortable mix between concentrated students who put on headphones while doing their work and groups of friends who came together to unwind and de-stress. Many painters’ works incorporated patterns, images from nature, abstract designs or solid colours.

Feener said partnering with UMSU helps enable SOFASA to host larger events like the paint night.

“We’re a very small faculty and very small council, so sometimes hosting events that we want to host, even for our own faculty, gets a little difficult because we don’t have the resources or the reach to host events like this,” she said. 

This year, SOFASA is trying to give back by combining art events with different initiatives such as the Plant and Paint Night for Sustainability Week, Feener said. 

Feener said students may not be aware of the resources SOFASA is able to provide. 

“We do a lot more than just paint,” she said, highlighting the group’s ability to collaborate for events or help create things like stickers. 

“We’re here to help the students, whether it’s our own faculty students or the broader campus.”

Feener and SOFASA co-president Rebecca Smith said they wanted to use the Plant and Paint Night as a trial to see what is possible when planning similar events. Feener said some ideas for future events include painting canvases and mugs or designing stickers. 

“We’re just excited to have people out in our building painting, expressing themselves, doing something creative, doing something sustainable,” Feener said, adding that students should keep an eye out for more events from SOFASA and from UMSU in the future.