The Daily Gamecock

Painting Through History celebrates Hispanic culture

History in living color came to the Russell House on Oct. 4. As part of its Hispanic Heritage Month calender, the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs hosted a Painting Through History event to shed light on Hispanic culture in a fun and creative way. 

Event coordinator Perri Campbell brought the event to USC for the first time this year. Students were given the opportunity to paint, learn about Hispanic culture and enjoy refreshments.

“Maybe [the event] will give people more of an insight on what the culture’s really about. Where it started, how it started, what’s involved in it, what their objective is,” Campbell said. 

Each student had paint, blank canvases, carbon paper and a blank outline. Quiet Latin music played and refreshments were available in the back. The students traced a blank outline inspired by Latin-American artist Dixie Miguez over carbon paper onto a canvas. They were then able to express themselves through the different colors of paint. 

“There is no such thing as messing up in a painting class. If you smear it, make it beautiful,” Perri Campbell said. “That canvas is yours, it’s yours to be unique ... make it you.”

The event drew students for a variety of reasons. Christina Thomas, third-year biochemistry student, was more interested in relaxing. 

“I think it’s a great way to ... unwind and do something outside your average comfort zone,” Christina Thomas, third-year biochemistry student, said. 

For Hope Patterson, third-year international studies and Spanish student, the event was all about appreciating her favorite aspects of Hispanic culture. 

"Frida Kahlo comes to mind ... I think personal relationships are very important in Hispanic culture and that's something that really impresses me," Patterson said.

The event was limited to students, either. Lydia Carnesale, bilingual specialist and quality coach with the South Carolina Child Care Resource and Referral Network, heard about the event through work. 

“I think it’s the voice of Hispanic culture. I think throughout history, the art is what has formed a basis for who they are ... if it’s architectural art, if it’s canvas art, if it’s murals, if it’s body art ... all of that is art and it’s culture and it’s so embedded in everything that we do,” Carnesale said.

In the end, Painting Through History is all about using your own creativity to explore other cultures.

"Your canvas is not going to look like your neighbors, your canvas is not gonna look like mine — it's gonna like yours," Campbell said.

The Office of Multicultural Student Affairs will be host its last two events celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month on Oct. 11 and Oct. 12.

Erin Metcalf also contributed to this article.