Painters, Poets and Musicians
On the night of Dec. 3, Santa Fe University of Art and Design’s Black Student Union held its final Painters, Poets and Musicians event of the semester. Fogelson Library was transformed into a casual performance space; the entire main floor was dark save for the string lights draped over a small stage surrounded by chairs. BSU members and nonmembers alike showed up with warm smiles and high energy as they took to the stage and easel to put on a laid-back show full of poetry, music and comedy.
The audience shouted words of support throughout the show, showing solidarity. As each act began, a different student would paint next to them in order to express the immediate emotional message that they personally felt with each song, poem or monologue. Regardless of major or skill level, everyone was invited to paint. Different students would raise their hand and say, “I’d like to paint next” after each performance. It was evident how inclusive BSU wanted the event to be. Each painting was then given to the performer to keep, perfectly showing them how they’ve affected their peers.
This event showcased the wide variety of talent SFUAD students have. Opening the show, Chassity Coleman and Trae Perry performed a high-energy song that had the audience bobbing their heads almost instantly. As the show went on, students continuously elicited cheers and chuckles from the crowd. From Ricky Rubio performing soulfully on guitar to Kobi Lyles showing off his improv comedy skills, energy remained high as the night progressed.
A particular performance that stood out was that of senior Acting student Valencia Lusk. “I performed a self-written piece titled ‘The Declaration of the People.’ The poem was in response to the presidential election, expressing the distress and catastrophe many felt about Trump winning the election, while also informing the public about the unjust, patriarchal, capitalist system that we have put our trust and faith in only to remain oppressed and manipulated,” Lusk says. As she stands on stage, passionate words ring in the microphone: ” Revolt and radical change is on its way. Do not be surprised, but anticipate.”
The students in BSU work tirelessly every month in order to put on the show, with nonmembers helping out as well. Ambrose Taylor and Aiden Willink, both students who are heavily involved in Student Life, helped with sound while supporting the show from the sidelines. “Events like Painters, Poets and Musicians are important because we are able to freely express ourselves and work with other great artists around campus,” says sophomore Business Arts Management student and BSU member Lonnell Lomax. “Collaboration is always important and that’s what this is all about.”
Though this event has been hosted by BSU in the past, this semester the club decided that it should be a monthly activity. “The entire SFUAD student body is encouraged to participate! All you have to do is sign up—the sign up sheet usually hangs outside the cafe once a month,” Lomax says. “We would love to see more faces.”
Senior Creative Writing and Literature major and BSU President Lauryn Nesbitt says she has plans to continuously improve the club and its events as each semester rolls by. With the year coming to a close, everyone is excited for what 2017 will bring.
You can join BSU’s Facebook group to stay updated on future events and meetings.