Hunched over and focused on painting, students spilled into Armstrong Pavilions A & B to paint mugs last Tuesday night. The event, put on by Miami Activities and Programming (MAP) and Uptown pottery painting shop You’re Fired!, had a line of students waiting out the door to scan their IDs to get in.
Students painted intricate designs, from geometric patterns to teddy bears wearing pirate hats. They laughed and chatted over the pop music playing overhead.
MAP events provide students with experiences that serve as an alternative way to spend time with friends in a setting outside of the dorms or the bars Uptown.
First-year Maggie Fryman sketched geckos in alternating directions before painting each one a different color.
“The geckos remind me of the house I lived in in Florida,” Fryman said. “There’s always little geckos out and around.”
Around her, one student painted a koi pond by first drawing the fish and then painting the water around them. Another painted a pastel sunset scene with layers of paint to create an ombre.
Fryman enjoys the painting events MAP occasionally holds, and comes with friends or by herself to take a break from the chaos of student life.
“It gave me time to do something out of my dorm or homework-related,” Fryman said. “This gave me a little breather. I like coming by myself. I can talk to people, but I don’t have to if I don’t want.”
Emily Cluen, a grad student and resident director of McFarland Hall, came with a group of friends to paint mugs. Coming to on-campus events is a way for her to see her residents outside of the dorm and learn more about their interests.
“I ran into one of my residents who is actually on MAP and I didn’t know she was on MAP,” Cluen said. “It’s cool to see them and get to know what they’re interested in, which I think strengthens my relationships inside the hall.”
The events are also a way for Cluen to take a break from her responsibilities and see other students on campus interacting with one another.
“MAP events are really fun and engaging, especially now that I’m in grad school,” Cluen said. “That can be stressful sometimes, but it’s awesome seeing students in this sort of environment just being able to have fun with their friends.”
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For the mug painting event, all supplies were brought by You’re Fired!, a paint-your-own pottery studio Uptown. They provided a pick-up date for students to get the mugs after they have been fired in the kiln.
At the end of the event, the mugs were placed on a table for You’re Fired! to pick up. After a few hours, the table was adorned with an array of different patterns and designs. Flowers covered some mugs, while others were decorated with sorority letters. The event offered a wide range of colors from shades of blue to pinks and oranges.
“It adds to the Miami experience,” Moritz said. “Miami is a lot more than just going to classes,” Moritz said. “You can come and take some time out of your day to just have an event and have time with friends.”