Students, faculty and staff can stop by the Nebraska Union North Green Space on April 26 to add strokes of paint to a canvas that aims to create “The Human Connection.”
The event, hosted by three students from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln and sponsored by the Undergraduate Student Advisory Council of the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts, will begin at 9:30 am on the Meier Commons. It will run until 4 p.m. or until painting is complete.
“We will be installing a blank canvas in the Meier Commons with the words ‘The Human Connection’ pasted on it,” said Alex Cathcart, a major junior in mathematics who helped organize the event. “We will then ask passers-by to bring a single stroke of paint to the canvas. We will have a wide variety of paint colors and brushes available to encourage everyone to be as creative as possible with their stroke. With the addition of each person, the paint will grow until the entire canvas is filled. “
The organizers – Cathcart; Taylor Hoskinson, second major in advertising and public relations; and Jack Dobson, a freshman psychology student – plan to donate the piece to the university and will take the names of those who attend so they can be recognized for their contributions.
Hannah Mason, a junior theater major and a member of Hixson-Lied’s undergraduate student advisory committee, said she was eager to support the project.
“Honestly, there was no reason not to sponsor the event,” she said. “As arts students in all fields, we all understand the neglect the arts community has faced this past year due to the pandemic and how we have often been pushed aside, so we were looking forward to it. to be able to create again and reinforce the idea that art is still alive and well. Personally, I know I missed all the usual events that would happen outside the union throughout the year, so I was excited to present a fun and relaxing project to the students who hopefully the, will divert them from his minds. tests and final projects, even if only for a few moments. “
Cathcart said the project responds to the year of the pandemic and the desire to build community.
“I think it’s an understatement to say that the past year has been difficult for the vast majority of people,” Cathcart said. “COVID forced us into our homes and, despite our best efforts, it isolated us from our communities. I believe that maintaining a healthy connection with our support systems, whatever they may be, is vital to our well-being as a people. So, I started to think about ways to solve this problem (in a COVID conscious) and contacted my friends Taylor Hoskinson and Jack Dobson for their input. This is how The Human Connection was born.
Mason likes the event to be inclusive.
“Here, you don’t have to be an artist to participate,” she said. “In fact, we encourage students from all walks of life to paint, whether you’re majoring in English, major in pre-med, major in classics, etc. The union’s setting up of this project was very important as we knew we would have a variety of students passing by at all times, and we wanted to make sure that every student who wanted to participate had the chance to participate. It helps us reinforce and remind us of the idea that art can be very inclusive and that everyone can come together to create something beautiful.
Cathcart hopes it is a chance for people to reconnect with their community during difficult times.
“I hope this project serves as a lasting reminder that while it may not always seem the case, we are all connected,” he said. “Each of our unique temperaments, talents and beliefs add to our community, and because of these differences our campus (in this case, painting) becomes more beautiful.”
The Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts Undergraduate Student Advisory Council is providing painting materials for the project. The College of Journalism and Mass Communication is also supporting the project by loaning cameras and microphones to record the event.
COVID-19 safety procedures, such as disinfecting the brushes after each use, applying social distancing and using the mask, will be followed.
Cathcart is thinking about new ideas to bring people together and plans to host more events like this.
“If this project can positively affect one person, I will call it a success,” Cathcart said.