Art facilitates presence during Focus Week
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As students dove into Focus Week last week, the Clark A lounge was filled with yarn, legos, fun music, and creative people for Creative Night. Heidi Pullmann, creator and director of the event, was on this year’s Focus Week Planning Committee. Her church (Montecito Covenant) used to hold creative nights and, because they were productive and fun, she thought that it would be a good event for the week. Pullmann says that “the theme this year is presence with yourself and with others and it fits in with the night.”
There were several different projects being worked on throughout the night. One of these was being done by Emily Peterson, who is “a part of Writers’ Guild, which is a campus club where we share our work.” She was working on the first day of a writing project for the month of November. She is tasked with writing 50,000 words during the month and her favorite genre is “fantasy and science fiction like the Lord of the Rings.” To Peterson, Creative Night was very helpful for her because “the hardest part of writing is just getting started, and tonight is the perfect opportunity to do it.”
A few tables over from Emily was M’Kya Williams, student leader of the String Things club at Westmont, which is an individually-based organization that teaches students to crochet and knit. Williams started the club last year in an effort to revive the previous crochet club and to work on and inspire other people to partake in the art. String Things partnered with Heidi Pullmann for Creative Night in order to offer a variety of arts to be worked on throughout the two hours. Although students were encouraged to bring their own work and focus in on that, the lounge was also used as a space for Williams to teach curious students how to make several knitted figures, ranging from the Pokemon Charizard to Perry the Platypus to Triceratops (which Williams was hoping to have beginners work on during the night).
M’Kya Williams was excited about being a part of the night because “our club is about presence because we work on individual projects and then work on group projects. We are about community, so we really fit Focus Week.” That night on a Thursday was definitely an inspired one, with many different projects and passions around the room, as well as some fun conversation and, of course, legos. As Pullmann intended, the night created a “space for people to be creative and for people who need an excuse to work on their creative projects because it’s important to take time to express our creative personalities.”