Union Board, Art Center of Waco collaborate to form Ucreate program

The Union Board, in conjunction with the Art Center of Waco, provided Baylor students with a chance to escape their studies for a few hours at the UCreate program. Photo courtesy of Sarah Sandberg

Erianne Lewis | Staff Writer

Students gathered in the Student Union Building (SUB) at midday on Feb. 25 to participate in a printmaking art activity hosted by the Union Board.

Printmaking is a process that involves transferring images from a template onto another surface, most often paper or fabric. During the event, students chose either a stencil provided by the hosts or sketched their own onto a piece of foam. They were instructed to apply ink on a surface, put it onto a roller and roll the ink on the foam. Then they turned the foam over and pressed it onto the piece of paper, revealing a print when the foam was peeled off. Students were able to take their prints home in a plastic bag provided by the volunteers.

San Diego junior Sarah Sandberg, a Union Board Ambassador of Fun, said Union Board created this event as a way for students to unwind for a short period of time during the week.

“It’s really helpful for your mental health to step away from your studies for half an hour to an hour,” Sandberg said. “We were lucky enough that the Art Center of Waco was willing to partner with us, so we began Ucreate. [They are] a great partner because they are really looking to help and connect with people in the city of Waco,” Sandberg said.

Becky Hansen, education coordinator for Art Center of Waco, said she has been working in art for the majority of her lifetime.

“I’ve taught art at the elementary school level, as well as workshops for the Art Center [for all ages]. I just like to experiment with all types of art. If there’s a medium out there that I haven’t tried, I’m just going to go for it and figure it out,” Hansen said.

Sarah Rodriguez, a local volunteer with the Art Center of Waco, said that the Art Center of Waco is experienced in every feature of art. She said they typically do a lot of printmaking, especially when it comes to private groups and classes.

Fort Walton Beach, Fla., junior Allison Pettit said she heard about this event through the Lariat’s weekly updates.

“I hadn’t seen anything like it before and I do like to do art in my spare time,” Pettit said. “I thought it would be a nice break between classes.”

After attending the event, Pettit said she enjoyed getting to use a creative outlet in the middle of her day.

“I just like learning about a new style of art. It’s kind of like relaxed, but I still get to learn something new,” Pettit said.

Rodriguez said the Art Center of Waco provides her with a therapeutic atmosphere. As a single mom with two other jobs, she said even though she is busy, she makes time for art because she loves it.

“I actually look forward to volunteering with the Art Center of Waco because everybody is nice and I’m doing what I love to do,” Rodriguez said. “It’s very therapeutic for me. I’m not gonna lie, it’s like a free therapy session every Tuesday through Friday.”

Union Board has events planned throughout the upcoming weeks, including a stress ball event with Baylor Wellness on Thursday. For more information, check out their Instagram page @baylorunionboard.

For anyone that may think that art is not for them, Hansen said she believes otherwise. She said everyone has creativity within themselves, it may just take some more effort to reveal.

“Don’t be afraid, you have to take the first step. I get so many people that say, ‘I can’t draw, I can’t do art, or I don’t have a creative bone in my body.’ You know what, everybody does. It’s just a matter of letting it out,” Hansen said. “I think once they do, and once they see that they can do certain things, it just opens up a whole new world for them.”