Rhody practices emotional wellness with paint night

Pictured: Artwork from community wellness paint night. PHOTO CREDIT: Casey Chan-Smutko| Staff Reporter

Community Wellness Leaders (CWL) at the University of Rhode Island held a paint night in the 193 Coffee House on Wednesday, March 1 to focus on emotional wellness, according to Dani Pyne, a fourth-year student studying film and media and the president of CWL.

Pyne said the organization was founded in 2020, and was completely virtual during the pandemic. This is the second year that the club has been fully in-person.

According to Pyne, a lot of clubs are centered around certain activities and interests, such as sports. The members of the club wanted CWL to be something that is encompassing for students who want to join the CWL.

She said CWL focuses on the four main types of wellness: food, physical, mental and emotional.

Pyne said they hold a paint night at least once a semester and this is the first time they’ve held it in the coffee house.

“Paint night is more of an emotional wellness night, so we wanted to focus on paint therapy,” Pyne said. “Also, since we’re holding it at the 193 Coffee House, we’re supporting a small business as well.”

Antineice Muhammad, a fourth-year student studying health studies and the public relations chair for CWL, said painting is relaxing, especially with midterms coming up, which can be stressful.

“So I feel like this is a nice way to ground yourself and do something you enjoy in between studying,” Muhammad said.

The paint night had a full house, with about 20 to 30 people at the coffee house. The leaders set up a table with masks, paper, different-sized canvases and small flower pots.

For painting, there were paint bottles in almost every color, cups with water, different-sized brushes, glitter and markers. They also had newspapers to keep the coffee tables from getting stained. 

Meanwhile, the coffee house provided drinks for painters and music from all eras. Some songs included “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” by Queen and “Anti-Hero” by Taylor Swift.

Some people sat on chairs with circle tables while others sat on couches with coffee tables. Paintings included nature patterns like the sun or the night sky or pop culture references, like Perry the Platypus from the Disney Channel show “Phineas and Ferb.” 

Leah Fay, a first-year student studying communications, said that she attended because she loves art, especially painting.

“I just find it really relaxing when I’m stressed out,” Fay said.

Madi Gibson, a first-year student studying textiles, fashion merchandise and design, said she came to the event because she’s invested and passionate about all kinds of art.

Gibson also said that she wanted to go to the Rhode Island School of Design instead of URI, but she didn’t make it, so she expresses her creativity in other ways.

“We’re all college students going through similar journeys, so I think this night is a really helpful resource,” Pyne said.

For news about upcoming events, or to learn more about what CWL does, follow their Instagram @communitywellnessuri.