A new class is adding a pop of color to the Craft Center this fall.
Beginning Oct. 10, Paint Night will run from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Craft Center and continue weekly on Wednesday evenings.
Paint Night is the first new class since surf shaping began in 2005. According to Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) Coordinator of Programs Missi Allison-Bullock, it is the first idea for a class since then that has been interesting, relevant and affordable for students.
Cal Poly alumnus Kellen Breitenbach will be instructing the class.
“I’m looking forward to figuring out what kind of teacher I am and inspiring the students to tap into their creative side — hopefully like Bob Ross, but live and without an afro,” Breitenbach said.
Breitenbach has an extensive artistic background, including having previously painted projects for the Craft Center, including the Carson Tree for Aware Awake Alive’s annual Mustang Mile.
“It is mostly an outlet from reality and stress and a way to keep my mind busy when my body wants to relax,” Breitenbach said.
Breitenbach worked alongside Allison-Bullock and Craft Center Instructor Lead David Maslan to get the class approved.
Before pitching the idea to ASI, they had to develop an appropriate budget, gather necessary supplies and demonstrate student interest. They wanted to mimic the paint night classes of San Luis Obispo and other cities, but at the same time, make them accessible to students.
“We are all about creating memorable student experiences, the ultimate college experience,” Allison-Bullock said. “[I hope] to get students to have a different view of their college experience by being in a new environment and doing something they’ve never done before that excites them.”
Class instructors typically complete one quarter of shadowing former instructors before teaching their own, but this is not the case for Breitenbach.
“Because I’m the first person to teach this class, there’s no such process,” Breitenbach said. “I just have to practice a ton. I’ve been using my coworkers and friends as guinea pigs.”
Registration for the class costs $30. The fee covers the cost of the blank canvases, painting supplies, food and beverages provided each night. Each week, the class will offer a different painting experience to provide an opportunity for students to explore different art styles. The class is open to everyone, but non-students will have a higher registration fee.
Along with paint night, the Craft Center offers a variety of classes including surfboard shaping, ceramics, bike maintenance, jewelry casting, flame working, wood working and stained glass fusing.
“It’s definitely relaxing to come into a learning environment where there are no pressures. It doesn’t matter if you succeed or fail — all of your goals are your own,” history sophomore and Craft Center employee Maeve O’Sullivan said. “It’s always a relaxed vibe and students can focus on being present and creating something.”
Registration for Paint Night closes Oct. 10, the day of the first class. For budgeting circumstances, there must be a minimum of four students enrolled in the class for the class to take place.
“It’ll be exciting to see a new side of the Craft Center and what direction it takes us in,” O’Sullivan said.