Painting a Starry Night

TJ Minds Matter hosts Starry Night event


Aumena Choudhry

Students paint on different canvases, inspired by the artwork of previous artists, such as the “Starry Night” painting by Van Gogh, displayed on the projector.

Aumena Choudhry , Staff Writer

Every month, TJ Minds Matter partners with Ms. Danielle Armstrong, Jefferson’s Social Worker, and parents to provide relaxation activities for students. This past month, the activity was “Painting A Starry Night”, which featured students painting various images of the night sky onto different canvases.

The idea for the event originated from a similar event that took place earlier in the year, with the Parent Teacher Student Association ((PTSA).

“So the idea came from the students of TJ Minds Matter. I knew that we were going to be doing snowflakes, and I wasn’t quite sure where I was going to put the snowflakes,” Armstrong said.

There were many factors that went into deciding how to host the event, including the usage of leftover materials from the PTSA paint night, and doing a communal art project.

“We had leftover canvases from a PTSA event that we did a paint night for teachers with, and we had leftover paint. We wanted to do some sort of community project also,” Armstrong said. “So it came together as a result of leftover paint, community project, I gave the backdrop, and the students thought Starry Night was the perfect one, especially because Van Gogh has his own mental health history, so the pieces just kind of fell together like that.”

Additionally, the students of Minds Matter attended a Minds Matter Leadership Summit, which further inspired them to plan for the event.

“It’s something that I talked to the PTSA about after the paint night, and then the students brought it up about a month ago in one of our club meetings,” Armstrong said. “The students had been to a Minds Matter Leadership Summit, and so I think they were inspired there to create some sort of community art and I figured if we did the tiles, in a very simplistic matter, we could do a five by five of canvases of different backdrops and put them together and that was our communal art project.”

Throughout the week, the event was publicized throughout Jefferson in the morning announcements, which inspired many to attend.

“I was told about it by my friend who wanted me to go with her, and I decided to because I felt that I needed something to relax from all the stress,” sophomore Sophie Wang said.

At the event, approximately 34 students showed up to paint together, and created 25 pieces of artwork, inspired by Van Gogh and other artists.

“My goal is to display them by next week and I am thinking it is going to be displayed somewhere in the Nobel Commons area, or the hallway right outside, like the gallery, or maybe in the AudLob. I still have to figure out where I am going to hang it, and we did the snowflakes today, so I will be putting those up around the building,” Armstrong said. “I don’t know quite when I am going to have time, and I still need to figure out logistically how I am going to hang up all of those canvases in a five by five design. I’ll figure it out and my goal is by the end of next week to get it done.”

Overall, the goal is to remind students and faculty alike that there are different ways to manage stress, not just by painting, but by doing other activities as well. For Wang, the activity helped her to relax, especially because she enjoys painting as a hobby.

“I enjoyed just painting and not worrying about school or my grades. I also really do love art and haven’t painted in a while due to being too busy. This activity helped me relax more and unwind myself,” Wang said.

However, other activities can be done to reduce stress as well, such as exercising or reading.

“People will see the snowflakes, and be reminded that there are different ways to stress, and it doesn’t have to be painting. It can be writing, reading, or listening to music – it’s what works for you,” Armstrong said.