Get Artsy With SAA Activities On Campus


Pumpkin painting, outside art gatherings, kids’ art camps, and so much more – there is a group on campus that is making it easy to get involved with others and with art at the same time.

Jillian DeVaney and Rachel Vaughn show off their painted pumpkins.

The Student Art Association at LCU strives to promote visual arts and arts education both on campus and in the Lubbock community. This organization hopes to not only raise awareness about art but also to build the community’s knowledge about the excellence of the LCU Art Education program.

Among other activities, SAA partners with LCU’s Student Senate for activities and exhibits in association with Creative Arts Week and Out of the Darkness Week. The SAA has hosted exhibits of student art and sponsored the Get sm’ART! and April Art Camps for children in the Lubbock area.

Madison Shields is the president and Kyra King is the vice president of the LCU group.

Kyra is a sophomore fine arts major with an education emphasis. She said the group’s pumpkin-painting event was a highlight of this semester.

“We had a bunch of mini-pumpkins and painting supplies as well as snacks set up in the art studio,” she said. “It was really fun to see what everyone made, and I even got to see some of these pumpkins decorating the halls of the girl’s dorm for the rest of the fall.”

“The pumpkin painting contest was very well attended [masked and socially distanced]and an overall great success,” said Ronelle Howell, professor of fine arts and faculty sponsor of the group.

“Our second event was outside at the park on campus,” Kyra said. “We watched the sun set and it was a beautiful place to sketch and catch up with some friends! Madison made hot cocoa and brought other fall-themed treats and we passed out drawing supplies as well. Both events were relaxing and fun ways to hang out with cool people!”

Kenzie Uptergrove, Kyra King and Brittney Weeks sketch the sunset at LCU’s Virginia Bryant Park.

Madison is a senior fine arts major. She said the SAEA events draw a mixture of people from across LCU.

“The pumpkin-painting event was my favorite from this semester. We had a great turnout and it was so fun to see people from so many disciplines – ESS, science, English, etc. – all expressing their creativity and making new friendships,” she said. “Several people expressed that this event was the first time they had done some sort of stress-relief activity.

Both Madison and Kyra said the club helps LCU students connect as well as tap their creativity.

“For me,” said Kyra, “[this]is another way that I get to love people through something I enjoy, which is art … through this club I’m able to help provide a relaxing and creative space for students to get to know each other and take a break from the craziness of college life.”

She continued, “Madison and I are always brainstorming ways to make our upcoming events more fun for both members and any student that wants to participate … I’ve always found a lot of peace and enjoyment through creating with a group of people, and I believe [this group]provides a place for LCU students to do the same.”

“SAA has been a huge creative outlet for me,” said Madison. “As an art major, I often get into a rut of being forced to create rather than creating for fun. [Our] events are great because they are an opportunity to relax, destress and get creative. I think art can be really daunting for a lot of people, so we do our best to design events where students feel comfortable expressing themselves creatively.

A painted pumpkin from the October SAA event. (Photo: Madison Shields)

She continued, “I’m really excited about the future of SAA. I’ve already had a lot of positive comments about the First Friday style event so I’m looking forward to that next semester.”

Professor Howell said this year’s SAA leaders are special.

“These two young leaders are not only phenomenal young artists with a passion for visual art; they are deeply spiritual, kind and committed leaders on campus and in their discipline,” she said. “They have been diligently recruiting peers and welcoming campus participation in the arts.”

The SAA is planning more events next semester, including “Paint-along with Bob Ross” [like Painting with a Twist]and Plein Air Sketching.

For more information contact:

Madison Shields:

Kyra King:

Ronelle Howell:


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