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Benton invites students to express creativity

By Zarrin Ahmed
On April 15, 2014

  • Students gather in the Benton Museum of Art on Tuesday for an all inclusive event inviting students across all majors to express themselves creatively. MIC JOHNSON/The Daily Campus

This week, the William Benton Museum of Art is hosting "Draw on!," an event that invites everyone to explore their creativity, and provides all the materials and help to do so.
"Yes you can draw! And we're here to assist," said Tracy Lawlor, education coordinator of the Benton.
From April 15-18, the Benton will hold "Draw on!" from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Materials from sketchbooks and fabrics to colored pencils and glitter are offered to anyone who wishes to create something. Teaching artists are also present at the event to encourage and assist all.
The four-day event has taken place for three years. Because of the stormy weather on Tuesday, the event was held indoors and the turnout wasn't as big as the years prior. Just as Lawler was packing up the set around 3:20 p.m., a woman and her two children came into the gallery looking for the event. Lawler pulled out stools, sketchbooks and pictures of dolphins for the girls.
"It doesn't have to be perfect, just creative," their mother said. It was their third time coming to "Draw on!" and the girls were excited to created art pieces of their own to take home.
Usually the event is held in the Benton Shade Garden when the weather is sunny and nice. In the garden, there are live acoustic performances by students. The event attracts many children, college kids, and families. When the event is outside, just behind the Wilbur Cross, more people are inclined to stop by and enjoy it. In the rainy weather, the event is held in the East Gallery of the Benton.
Though many students, like Mark Corey, a 7th semester journalism and communications double major, aren't art students, it's still an outlet for stress. Many times, Lawler says, people forget how much they enjoy drawing and are able to tap into that while creating at "Draw on!"
"I am a huge advocate for drawing," Lawlor said. "Have a thought and create it: that's how inventors work."
What Lawlor said she likes the most about the event is that it allows people to work with their hands. Drawing, or even just writing, is not virtual. During the event last year, Lawlor was impressed that, amongst 400 attendees, there wasn't a single laptop or computer. She strongly believes that with a little push, anyone can create something - whether it's a comic strip or drawing the trees outside.
Corey's sister, Christy, invited him to the event. An art student and sophomore, Christy Corey attended the event last year and saw how much fun people had with chalk drawings at the garden.
"People could just walk by and notice," she said, making the event open and accessible to anyone with or without artistic talent. With musicians scheduled to perform and a student model posing for drawings, the event will continue until the end of the week.
Starting next week, there will be students from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Fridays with a cart filled with materials and sketchbooks for anyone interested in relieving stress by drawing at the end of the week.

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