Radford Quest participants learn to ‘Paint Like Pollock’

Final product of Quest participants' Paint Like Pollock artwork.

A colorful activity sparked creativity in several of this summer's Quest participants.

Radford University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA) Professor Roann Barris led the Paint Like Pollock art project that encouraged new Radford University students to collaborate on a large canvas creation.

“I was basing it on Jackson Pollock,” said Barris. “He’s famous for letting the paint drip on to the canvas.”

Graduate student Kaitlynn Slaughter assisted with the project, working with each group of CVPA Quest students.

“One the thing I truly enjoyed about working with the incoming class is just how diverse and unique our college is,” said Slaughter. “A lot of times, I only get to see the visual arts side of our little world, and it was really great to meet all of these amazing young adults. I also got to work with them not only as an authority figure, but also as a student they could see themselves being down the road.”

Quest is Radford University's comprehensive new student orientation. Incoming freshmen and transfer students get a first-hand look at what college life is like through a variety of activities, such as Paint Like Pollock.

“The whole Quest experience - and going to college in general - can be incredibly scary and overwhelming,” Slaughter said. “I think Paint Like Pollock was a great tool in cutting through some of that tension and uncertainty. Hopefully when other CVPA activities come up in the future, they will remember having a good time with Paint Like Pollock and be more likely to come participate.”  

Slaughter and Barris were unsure of the enthusiasm that the different CVPA majors would show, but the close to 200 CVPA Quest participants jumped at the opportunity.

“All of our majors really jumped right in - quite literally at times - and worked together," Slaughter said.

The enthusiasm displayed by all the students created memories.

“Every single day was a unique experience, and you can tell by looking at how different each canvas turned out,” Slaughter said. “We had several instances where someone would just throw their shoes on the floor and literally jump onto the canvas and really make themselves a part of the piece.”

Barris and Slaughter hope that having students be a part of the artwork will increase the unity and cohesiveness of the incoming CVPA students. To further increase that cohesiveness, the newly-created artwork will be on display for all Radford University students to observe at a future Paint Like Pollock event.

Paint Like Pollock will return in the fall – this time for all students. The event will take place at 3 p.m. on Sept. 3, in front of the Student Recreation and Wellness Center.

Aug 23, 2016
Max Esterhuizen
(540) 831-7749