Campus art group UT Artists in Action was forced to change location for their painting party on Friday night when more than twice the expected number of guests showed up, crowding their original venue.
At UTAIA’s Bob Ross painting party, more than 35 guests followed along with a YouTube tutorial by Bob Ross, the late artist who spent 11 years on television teaching painting.
“I had never even seen Bob Ross before,” said Neeti Shah, an electrical engineering freshman who attended the event. “He was just really serene.”
Shah said her roommate encouraged her to go to the party, where paints, brushes and canvases were laid out for attendees.
“I think we all had a really good time because (Ross) is just a wholesome, genuine person,” said Shyia Magan, studio art and biology senior and UTAIA member. “You can’t get too upset when (paintings) aren’t turning out how you want them to, and you’re just reverted to a little kid trying to do what feels right.”
Magan said the party was casual and relaxing in the midst of her college schedule full of tests, papers and overall rigidity.
The organization timed the event purposefully as an exam stress-reliever, UTAIA President Karis Tillman said. Tillman said other colleges are also holding Bob Ross painting parties because his tutorials are available on Netflix.
“With Bob Ross’s growing popularity and painting classes like Painting with a Twist, I thought, ‘Okay, this is a really good idea,’” Tillman said.
The guests painted a scene of a leaning tree in a purple enchanted forest. Tillman said she could have chosen a painting with snow or a cabin in the woods but decided against it.
“This was something you could really individualize and we wanted people to be able to do that,” Tillman said.
The organization may end up hosting the Bob Ross party once a year, according to Tillman, but the financial aspect is tricky because the group mainly operates on dues money alone.
In the group’s other events, which include service projects like community trash cleanups, Tillman said she hopes to bring in more people from all majors.
“The arts is really a place where people can relate to one another,” Tillman said. “It’s a very unique community. You have one thing that brings you together, and you just have fun with it.”