Painting with a purpose

On April 23, students took a break from class to focus on wellbeing and service by painting with their peers.

Inspired by their own passions for art, seniors Jordyn Albritton and Ariel Hawley created Campus Canvas, an event where students, faculty and staff could enjoy making artwork outdoors and take a break during the school and work week.

“The event was better than we even imagined—we had such a large group of students, faculty, and staff participate that we actually ran out of canvases in the first couple of hours,” Hawley said. “Hidden talents were definitely revealed as individuals with diverse backgrounds came out to enjoy a free and unique event. I think people surprised themselves as far as the artwork they created, and it was so rewarding to watch participants inspire each other and share ideas.”

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Campus Canvas was sponsored by Thrive. Equal parts education and inspiration, Thrive aims to provide the Wake Forest community with the skills, knowledge and perspective to live healthier, balanced lives. The campus-wide, comprehensive program covers eight branches of wellbeing including emotional, environmental, financial, intellectual, occupational, physical, social and spiritual. In April, Wake Forest has been focusing on emotional wellbeing.

“Painting creates a venue for self-expression and creativity, both of which are central to identity and socio-emotional wellbeing,” said Malika Roman Isler, the University’s director of wellbeing. “Given that Campus Canvas was student initiated, it was also a great opportunity to demonstrate that we all have a stake in the wellbeing of this community. We’re happy to partner with our fellow Deacons, particularly during a busy season like finals, to create outlets for relaxation and social connection.”

Hawley said the first Campus Canvas was a success.

“Jordyn and I both enjoy painting as a hobby, but we lacked the time or place to engage in this type of artistic activity,” said Hawley. “Campus Canvas provided a fun, creative outlet for Wake Foresters, regardless of ability.”

Desks for elementary school students

On the same day as Campus Canvas, student volunteers met on Poteat Field to paint desks for 46 children from Old Town Elementary.

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The annual spring service project, called Developing Education through Student Knowledge (D.E.S.K.), began on campus in 2000 when Tierney Kraft and Elizabeth Eubank, both 2004 Wake Forest grads, noticed many of the children they were tutoring at a local elementary school did not have a place to study at home. With the help of Lowes and local furniture stores, who donate the supplies, the project provides a child in need of a desk with a personalized study space they may not have had otherwise.

Each child was paired with a team of students who decorated the desk according to the child’s interests, and the event theme this year was “Monsters U.”

Seniors Kesley Drusch and Sarah Vivenzio co-chaired the project.

“We aim to bring the campus together to recognize how important a good education is,” said Vivenzio. “D.E.S.K. is a bold step toward making Pro Humanitate come to life. Every student at Wake Forest has been fortunate enough to have a good education that prepared them for college, and every child deserves the same opportunity.”

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