Students explore creativity with Mocktails on Canvas event


Willow Rasch/NW

CREATIVE JUICES FLOWING – Mocktails on Canvas was held on Monday, Sep. 12, in the Lydia M. Olson library’s atrium with a variety of supplies and inspirations for everybody involved.

Willow Rasch, Features Writer

Acrylic paints and canvases are items not often found in libraries, let alone actually used, but the Special Events Committee put together an event that allowed you to do exactly that. 

About 50 NMU students sat at circular tables in the Lydia M. Olson library’s atrium on Monday, Sept. 12, painting canvases as they sipped on Shirley Temples and water. Every so often students walked from table to table to ask for different colored paint with lo-fi music playing quietly in the background.

Ali Deutsch, junior political science major at NMU and special events coordinator headed the Mocktails on Canvas Event. 

“I kind of wanted an event that was not as competitive and maybe was more accessible to some people who don’t really like big events and crowds,” Deutsch said. “This year’s theme for Homecoming is ‘Create NMU’ which just kind of focuses on creativity and enhancing pupils on personal creativity.”

Mocktails on Canvas held true to that, due to the size of the library’s atrium and the need for supplies, Deutsch said, only 50 of over 130 people that signed up for the event on The Hub were able to participate in the event.

“In the future, I think we may just do a two-night event, or we may find another space that we can expand our needs into, but I really do like the library,” Deutsch said.

Students said they enjoyed themselves at Mocktails on Canvas, but a few attendees shared similar sentiments about the size of the event.

“I’m really enjoying it,” Alexa Thompson, senior outdoor recreation leadership and management major, said. “It’s a lot of fun. It was nice that the supplies were provided and that there wasn’t a charge to do it. I know a lot of people would have liked to come if it could have been bigger though.”

Some students shared what they painted at the event, and why they chose to create them.

“I’m painting an abstract kind of bonfire scene. I just kind of put paint down and saw where it went. And somehow fire ended up,” Amanda Alaziz, senior art and design major, said. “The colors we were given — we had a lot of blues and reds on our table. So, I just decided blues were the background, red was the fire. I just used what I was given.”

For some, it took multiple attempts to achieve the art that they envisioned. 

“I was originally going to do like the silhouette of a girl’s back with like some leaves on it, but that didn’t go as planned,” Ava Rook, freshman general studies major, said. “I kind of just started to freehand it and just do a bunch of pastels and work with some random techniques and make kind of like an abstract art.”

And for others, they knew what they wanted from the beginning.

“I painted a picture from Conan Gray,” Korryn Brown, freshman at NMU, said. “He’s a singer, and it’s from his new album. I really like Conan Gray. I think he’s super cool. I was like, ‘this’ll look really nice up on my wall.’”

Some even created paintings that they plan to use in the future.

“I painted a gray background, and then I put ‘be kind,’ and then it’s a bunch of different colored circles,” Kayla Stevens, senior elementary education integrated science major and secretary of the Special Events Committee, said. “I think I’m just gonna want to hang that up in my classroom one day.”

The Special Events Committee is looking for more members to participate in free events like these in the future. You can check out their Instagram page for information on upcoming events @nmu_specialevents.