By Hope Kelly, Contributor
Two students stand outside the library laughing and splattering paint across a white sheet. Others gather around the art tables painting with watercolors, and even more sit on the ground coloring and talking. All of them are taking a break from the stress of tests and papers to enjoy making art with some friends.
This was the scene outside of James B. Duke Library Thurs., Oct. 22 when the Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity held its second annual “Art Therapy” event to help students de-stress from the struggles of academic life around midterms.
“Art brings you back to your childhood which was an easier time,” said senior Kelly Gansfuss, Vice President of Service for APO, adding the environment is “very relaxing” and “very therapeutic getting to throw paint on things.”
“‘Art Therapy’ is for the cause of the whole study body,” and a chance to “take a break and make something beautiful,” sophomore APO member Alexis Myers said. “You always have time for yourself. You have to make time for yourself.”
APO provided a variety of youthful therapeutic tools, including splatter paint, thumb print art, water colors and bubbles.
“I splattered paint on the sheet, rolled Play-Doh and enjoyed the company of my friends as they colored pictures,” junior Polly Rose Philpot said. Philpot said she came to the event just to “de-stress and relax and enjoy some fresh air.”
“This is an activity that would be very well received by the student body on a regular basis,” she added.
According to Gansfuss, when APO held the event last year, “it worked out well and a lot of people came, and we think a lot more came this year.” The organization is considering another art therapy day during the spring semester to help raise awareness of the group on campus.
“We want to try to be more well known on campus, and we think if we have something more annual that will help,” Gansfuss said.