Runners come together virtually for Dia de los Muertos Paint Night

Destinee Sims, Features Editor

Runners came together over Zoom for Paint Night organized by the Dreamers Resource Center (DRC) and the Multicultural Alliance and Gender Equity Center (MAGEC) on Oct. 9.  

Jarad Mann was the evening’s instructor; the moderators included Hilda Nieblas Valenzuela, DRC and MAGEC Coordinator, and Afaf Aldhulay, Campus Programming Coordinator. CSUB students were invited to paint a surprise Dia de los Muertos themed artwork to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month and OUTober. 

The necessary supplies for the event were sent out by the hosts via Amazon to students that registered. Each kit included 5 canvases, acrylic paints, mixing tools, brushes, a palette, pencils, eraser, and a sharpener.  

At the beginning of the event, Mann revealed that Runners would be painting Frida Kahlo as a sugar skull. Portraying Kahlo in warm hues with a fiery background, participants spent more than two hours painting to the sound of music and Mann’s voice. 

Artists ranged from inexperienced hobbyists to seasoned painters; all were encouraged to enjoy the night and let go of their expectations. Drawing from the late Bob Ross, Mann reminded participants that there are no mistakes in art, only “happy little accidents.” 

While the chat function prevented communication between participants, painters were encouraged to utilize the chat throughout the event to get anonymous help from Mann. Although students were also welcome to unmute themselves to ask their questions or chat with Mann, most opted to remain silent aside from the occasional question from a few participants.  

There were 56 attendees according to the participants list at the beginning of the night, with only a few students opting to leave the event early.  

The event continued until the last artist had completed their painting, having everyone take a group screenshot with their art. Runners then said their farewells, taking with them not only a piece of art, but a physical reminder of the Runner experience.