My Secret ESU: My Corner

Nakaya Dunn

Contributing Writer 

Art on the Wall

On the first floor of Stroud Hall, on the east wing of the building, around a small corner comes the room with so much color and expressions. The entrance to this magic kingdom is vibrant. The white bubble letter font spelling C.R.E.A.T.E. Lab is placed on a blend of crimson, shamrock, Persian blue, lemon, and tangerine. According to ESU Insider, it says, “C.R.E.A.T.E. stands for: Connect ideas, Realize the curious, engage body, mind, heart and hands, attend to the aesthetic, transform and expand possibilities.” To me, C.R.E.A.T.E stands for: Collaborative ideas, radiating energy, examining life, articulating ideas using tactile methods, and establishing yourself.

Co-founder, Patricia Pinciotti, E.D. was an early childhood and elementary education professor at ESU. Pinciotti said, “the lab’s goal is to encourage students to think outside the box.”

The Lab is an opportunity given to students to discover creativity, inquiry and document discoveries.

Every circular table encompasses a silver bucket containing drawing utensils such as paintbrushes, pens, pencils, coloring pencils, crayons and markers. Some tables have placemats for spills while painting.

There are silver file cabinets with shelves on the right side of the room containing different types of glue, paint, paper, scissors, glitter, string and stickers. There are also coloring sheets on the rectangular table next to the doorway. The coloring sheets consist of dream catchers, inspirational words, mandala and animated characters.

The room emits peaceful and wholesome energy. The sound of easy-listening music swells the room for a tranquil ambience. The melodious music consists of no lyrics to ensure focus stays solely on the art. The room is dark, only being illuminated with one set of string lights for the entire room.

Three lamps accompany the string lights. One lamp parallel from the doorway possesses six adjacent rectangles in a vertical position. Beside that lamp is a grey Medusa lamp. All five Candelabra base bulbs glow through the white acrylic shades. At the entrance, there is a bedside cabinet about 24 inches tall possessing a small table lamp. There are about four modular soft seating rounds at every table. There is no coordination of colors for the seating rounds; the colors are green, black, grey and red.

My dear friend, ESU Alumni for the class of 2022, Jess, introduced me to this wonderful land of art. Before she graduated, Jess was the student in charge of the Lab. While being a leader of the school’s great art escape, Jess designed a new logo, organized, executed events and waited patiently for students to visit the lab every day.

She once told me that the lab remains unoccupied on most days. There are not many students who come to visit, solely because not many people know about the opportunity. If this art studio had the correct amount of publicity within the East Stroudsburg University Community, it could potentially serve as a safe space for it’s students.

While I was there, I feel a sense of security, fluidity and comfortability. I sat to color my mandala and I felt at peace. When I went to visit the C.R.E.A.T.E. Lab, I invited some friends. I wanted everyone to feel the same sense of community and vulnerability that I felt while being in the atmosphere, allowing the imagination to roam freely. After my visit, I had the opportunity to look at art through a different lens.

Art is a culture, and it is all around us. Art is music, books, television, film, dance, etc. Art provides creativity, having the ability to find the beauty and meaning in how we view life. Without art, the world would be a void of emptiness, darkness and expression.

Taking an adventure to the C.R.E.A.T.E. Lab compared to simply attending an art class encapsulates the contrast between experiencing art. While in an art class, you could create freely, but with the limitations of a professor’s guidelines. In comparison, the Lab was an opportunity to do anything without limitations. There were no guidelines for how I wanted my art to work. Being in the Lab gave me a chance to express myself, letting go of any frustrations and or confusion I had going on in my life at the time. The C.R.E.A.T.E Lab is a secret place that should no longer be a secret, more exposure and creativity wouldn’t hurt anyone.