The French Club hosted a Mardi Gras themed event last Friday in Friends Hall. More than 50 students attended to paint masks and canvases, and also eat an array of food from Popeye’s.
Posters of famous art hubs and monuments hung on the walls, including Washington Square Park, the Louvre and the Eiffel Tour. These structures served as artistic inspiration as students designed their own masks and customized their own canvases. Incorporating the lively festivities of Mardi Gras, students could choose from a variety of paints, feathers, and gems to decorate with.
Describing the connection between French culture and Mardi Gras celebration, French Club President Ariana Rivera said, “New Orleans is a very artistic area, so I think that shows up here. It’s just nice to have, a nice little relaxing time to do some art is always fun.”
The event had a lively New Orleans feel to it, with plates of Southern comfort food and bustling French pop music. Rivera added, “I started this club four years ago, so it’s just nice to see it slowly growing. I think this is the most we’ve ever had, I think this was our most successful event so far.”
Gesturing to the intricate design on her canvas, senior Samantha Risman said, “I thought the activities were top notch. I think stuff like this is cool, having easels and paints, having activities plus food plus music, you’re gonna get people to stay. People will want to keep this as opposed to like a piece of paper to color on.”
Towards the end of the night, Rivera took the stage to explain a traditional custom during Mardi Gras called Kings Cake. This involves baking a cake and hiding a miniature baby within the batter, and then whoever discovers the small baby in their cake, is believed to be blessed with good luck and prosperity.
As many students excitedly questioned if there would be cake, Rivera quickly explained there was a miniature toy baby hidden under five lucky people’s chairs, who would win gift card prizes. Immediately, students flipped their chairs in excitement, and moments later, five students traded their small plastic babies for gift card prizes.
“It was really nice. I liked everything. I liked the painting it was a really good idea, and then making the masks also. I liked how it all came together,” said Andrea Thompson-Green.
“The turnout was really great, and it’s exciting to have so many come out and explore a different cultural event that they might not be used to,” said French Club’s Vice President Cassie Fenton.