June 5, 2023
Ithaca, NY | 48°F

Life & Culture

Paint and sip events bring out student’s inner Picasso

Ithaca College students assemble together in IC Square with a paintbrush in one hand and either a Capri-Sun or a cup of water in the other. While painting, students simultaneously create a personalized masterpiece on a canvas while drinking a non-alcoholic beverage and call it a paint and sip party. 

Students at the college frequently meet multiple times a month when different organizations host paint and sips throughout the academic year. 

Paint and sips were first popularized in 2007 when Cathy Deano and Renee Maloney opened Painting with a Twist, formerly known as Corks N Canvas, in New Orleans to give customers the opportunity to paint in a relaxed environment and drink at their own leisure. 

Typically, these trendy parties focus more on an alcoholic beverage of choice while guests paint their pictures. While paint and sip events at the college do not offer alcohol, there are still plenty of non-alcoholic drinks to choose from.

The college’s Paint & Sip Club intends to get students to mix and mingle with each other on campus while also encouraging them to create their own individualized works of art. The club began to hold its official events starting November 2021, but the paint and sip trend has been brewing on campus for a while now. 

Senior Fabiha Khan, who is a resident assistant at West Tower, said paint and sip events are especially popular group activities. Khan said she helped organize the Towers cluster paint and sip event in March. There were about 50 attendees and the event lasted three and a half hours.

“The expression through art is a new trend,” Khan said. “Even if you’re not a good painter, having that experience with your friends is something that people just start enjoying a lot more.” 

Khan also said that the laid-back environment combined with the relative popularity of paint and sips on social media platforms like TikTok contribute to their success.

“When things are trendy, they’re easier to follow; everybody enjoys them more,” Khan said. “I do think the reason that it’s a trend is because … expression through art is popular. Now, people think that it’s easy to express themselves when they’re painting or drawing, or it’s … easy when you know you’re a bad painter, but you’re doing it anyways because at the end of the day, it’s something you’re going to keep in your room and you’re going to laugh about it.”

Junior Paige Brent said the Paint & Sip Club’s events typically have about 20 people and there are new faces every time the club meets in IC Square. The club paints on mini canvases and can take their masterpieces home for dorm decor while chowing down on a cookie.

“The first time I went to Paint & Sip, I was nervous and didn’t know anyone but my one friend,” Brent said. “I then got to interact with and meet new people I never met before and that was so fun.” 

Samantha Elebiary, the BOLD program director, said the BOLD scholars expressed interest in hosting a paint and sip event of their own. Elebiary said there were about 15 people that attended the BOLD program’s paint and sip that was held March 14 in the BOLD Suite in the Towers Concourse.

“They call it emotion mixology, so they had a bunch of mocktail ingredients,” Elebiary said. “Each ingredient was assigned an adjective or something inspirational.” 

Senior Amulya Ravitej Bachala, who is a BOLD scholar, said the group’s paint and sip event had a unique twist to it. At the event, participants took simple drink ingredients and assigned each ingredient an affirming title, like ambition or courage.

“The recipe wouldn’t be to add ginger ale and add blueberries, it would be to add a shot of wisdom with a dash of creativity,” Bachala said.

The event, like other paint and sips on campus, serves as a way for students to take time to relax. BOLD’s event was a quiet space where people socialized, sat in peace and painted

Bachala said she feels that paint and sips should happen more on campus. 

“You get a chance to be at a social event without really socializing,” Bachala said. “It is a place where someone who really likes socializing can go and someone who also prefers to be by themselves will also have a good time there as well.”

Editors Note: A previous version of this article said the Paint and Sip club drank a variety of beverages and that attendees created the same image. Attendees at a Paint and Sip club event can choose between Capri-Sun and water; and are also provided cookies and chips. Attendees are also encouraged to paint whatever they want.