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  • The Griffin

The Drawing Club: A calm and creative space for the students of Canisius

By Ava Green, Assistant Features Editor

Drawing Club is typically a biweekly or monthly gathering of students to flex their creative muscles. The club puts on themed events in the sculpture room at Lyons Hall, where guidance and materials are provided to follow said theme. Their past events include using oil pastels, painting with watercolor paints, etching on copper paper and making vision boards, which was an e-board favorite.

Since its establishment in fall of 2020, the drawing club has been an amazing but lamentably lesser-known club here at Canisius. Drawing Club President and Founder Vaish Kumar spoke about the hardships of starting a new club remotely: “We had a lot of Zoom paint nights and not a lot of people came; sometimes just one or two people.” The lack of attendance caused Vaish to feel quite discouraged regarding the future of the club. “That's why I thought this club was a fail,” she said. “And then once it was in person, that's when it started to become better.” During the last semester, Drawing Club’s events had better attendance than ever, and they seem to be cultivating more and more participants with each meeting; it is very easy to see why.

Kumar started this club to act as a creative outlet for herself. Frustrated by the lack of any general art club, she took matters into her own hands. With the advice and tips from a friend who has also started a club at Canisius, Vaish realized how easy it was to start her own club. As a biology major, she found it difficult to channel the love of art that she has had since childhood. Vaish, like many of us, definitely felt the isolation that comes with lockdowns and quarantines, and explained that she wanted a way to connect with people. “I liked drawing — I didn't want to do it alone,” she said. Drawing Club, even in its early stages, has been a way for artists and non-artists alike to relax and bond while creating something unique.

Vaish loves attending the events now that they are in person, saying she appreciates that “that time is dedicated to drawing and I don't have any other thoughts. I'm not thinking about homework, I'm just there in the moment.”

There is an overwhelming feeling of accomplishment that comes with using your hands to create a piece of art, and that feeling is enhanced when the pressure of grading is off your back. Vanished said that she loves that she can create whatever she wants in such a supportive and judgment-free zone; not only is there no grading, but there is also no expectation to make something amazing or to make anything at all. Yes, the drawing club does try to stick to a theme for each event, but participants are always encouraged to follow their heart’s desires. Many people doodle or even do homework for the duration of an event and they, like all students, are always welcome to their events.

Vaish hopes that Drawing Club’s success continues after she graduates in the fall, saying she hopes “it is still doing as well as it is doing now — if not better — and still serves as a creative outlet for everyone at Canisius.” She also plans to incorporate ways to give back, recalling an event where they made cards for Meals on Wheels and hopes to do the same during this semester.

The next event that Drawing Club will be holding is their “Origami Night” on March 16. It will be from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. in room 412 at Lyons Hall. At the event there will be directions and origami paper provided. The drawing club is open to all students and always happy to see new faces. Why not show up? Who knows, you might be the next Picasso!

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