UM students create their works of art.

Photo by Britney Williams

As students walked into the basement of Napier Residence Hall, they heard the popping sound of cold sodas, the strokes of paint brushes and the sound of plastic crumbling to the floor. Both novice and experienced artists took a seat to begin their work as they talked amongst each other. They told jokes and asked for paint as they surfed the web and pondered what they wanted to create. It was once again the night of UPC’s annual Cokes and Strokes.

For the past few years, UPC has hosted Cokes and Strokes to bring out the artist in everyone. The event allows students to come together and get their creative juices flowing as they relax among their friends and meet new people. In fact many students go early every year so they will be sure to have a seat.

For the last two years, art students have come to give mini-lessons by showing students how to paint a portrait step-by-step.This year’s student teacher was Kara Kryger, a biochemistry major and sophomore, who painted an igloo with northern lights. Some students painted owls, material things, and one student even did self portrait.

According to UPC Coordinator Jacob Gordon, at least 60 students attend every year. Although Cokes and Strokes only happens once a year, Gordon says if more students request it, Cokes and Strokes could happen both semesters.

As students began to feel confident about their creations, they showed friends the fruits of their artistic labor. Some asked for color advice while others wondered if they needed to add more coats to the canvas. As time winded down and the end of Cokes and Strokes came about, students cleared the tables, popped open the cooler for one last soda and proceeded to exit the once lively room, new painted memories in tow.