Bob Ross – inspired painting night attracts “ happy little students ”

By Mia Brounstein

Dozens of students snacked on crackers and cheese, sipped drinks and let their creativity flow at a painting night in the Gentile Gallery on Nov. 8.

The event, entitled, “The Joy of Painting with Bob,” was hosted by Bob Lesnefsky, Franciscan University’s director of evangelization. Bob delivered the evening’s opening remarks in an afro wig, which he donned in imitation of painter Bob Ross.

Students were able to choose from free art supplies, including canvas boards, multiple colors of paint and air-dry clay, before sitting down at long tables to make some art. Students were encouraged to either create their own original pieces or follow the Bob Ross tutorial that was played on the projector screen.

Speakers played folk tunes by musicians such as Hozier, Noah Kahan and Vance Joy, setting the mood for the evening. In addition, free food, alcohol and non-alcoholic drinks were provided for event attendees.

Outside the Gallery, a charcuterie bar was set up, complete with dozens of types of local and international cheeses and meats. The charcuterie boards also featured crackers, breads, pesto sauce, roasted peppers and artichokes, fresh herbs, berries, dried fruit and pastries.

Throughout the evening, Lesnefsky walked around the room to critique students’ art. At the end of the event, Lesnefsky gave out five paper plate awards: three for the best pieces of art at the event, one for the worst piece of art and one for the “most Frannie” painting.

Students’ creations ranged from clay turtles and ghosts to portraits of each other and landscape paintings in the style of Bob Ross.

“This event was something I looked forward to all week and it did not disappoint,” said senior philosophy and classics major Mariana Gomez. “The charcuterie was excellent and I definitely had a lot of fun painting.”

Gomez added that she hopes the university will put on more events like this one in the spring.

The evening was sponsored and set up by Exc!te, with food being provided by Parkhurst Dining.