Students gathered at The Depot on Thursday evening with paint brushes in hand and turned white canvasses into an explosion of color for SF State’s first Art Social: Paint our Walls event of the fall semester.
Frequent concert goers who are used to a much louder scene at The Depot would have noticed a change of atmosphere. The low lighting and low-tempo music created a mellow setting where people could chatter and allow their creative minds to take over. The art social takes place once a month throughout the semester and, unlike live music shows, comedy nights or open mics, the social gives students a chance to interact with each other more and express themselves.
“This kind of event brings people together in a different way. This place has a lot of bands, so an art social brings a different crowd,” said 21-year-old Wendy Lopez as she painted an orange koi fish on the wall.
The event attracted both art majors and less artistically inclined students, as everyone was encouraged to leave their mark on the wall.
Some students, like art major Jeremiah Shanholtzer, painted art with a special meaning behind it. Shanholtzer explained that his painting of a large black pyramid with a keyhole inside it was an interpretation of seeking truth after death. “It means that the key to life is death and the message is don’t be morbid and sad when people die and instead seek truth and acceptance,” he said.
18-year-old Gabrielle Jay was inspired by “Belladonna of Sadness,” a Japanese animated film from the ‘70s and painted the protagonist of the film, a beautiful woman with flowing purple hair. Jay, a psychology major, said art was a hobby for her and she enjoyed coming out to look at everyone’s work.
“I wanted to come out and try something new since sometimes you get caught up in the same cycle of going to school, work and home,” said 25-year-old Antonio Newman, who found out about the event through Facebook. “It’s a great way to meet people, plus we pay for these events in our tuition.”
For recent transfer student, Sawyer Loftus, events at The Depot have a special attraction. “It was the main reason I transferred here. I used to come here when I wasn’t a student at SFSU and the energy was one of the appeals. ”
Depot Venue Organizer, Nilo Amiri, said the turnout at the social was very good and she wants to expand this event and hold three more like it this semester. “We will keep the art up until the next art social – which is one of the appeals of painting the walls because it’s ever changing, kind of like graffiti” said Amiri.