Students and artists enjoy a night of expression over fresh coffee

Inside the warm walls of Cougar Dome, white tables separated artists from casual observers at this semester’s Jazz. Art. Coffee. (JAC) night. The event, which occurs twice a year, has become a tradition at Azusa Pacific inviting artists, musicians and coffee lovers to come together, have fun and relax alongside peers.

Hosted by Communiversity, the Spring 2019 JAC event included freshly brewed coffee, jazz music, art and a photobooth. Students had the option to buy art from their peers or to create their own art on 2×2 inch canvases that lined the tables in the Dome. Some students painted trees while others created abstract art.

“My personal favorite thing is that [this event] is an opportunity to give students who normally couldn’t share their art [a place] to share their art,” said Jeslin Preap, senior performing arts intern. “I love reaching out personally to different artists that are on campus and let them do their thing.”

Six artists attended the event, each one demonstrating different art styles that ranged both in medium and interpretation. Hannah Greisen, a ceramicist at APU, chose to sell ceramic bowls, cups and plates that she made. Greisen said all the proceeds would go to APU’s Spanish Action team.

“I have just found so much joy in the process of throwing on the wheel and finding combinations of colors and stuff,” Greisen said. “It’s become really like a spiritual practice for me.”

Greisen added she loved making functional art that people could use for years to come.

APU also attracted neighboring artists, such as Bradley Fewell, studio art major at Citrus College, whose art focuses heavily on the collision of nature and technology. This element is evident in his artwork, such as a piece where a painted heart is connected by wires to a 3D electrical outlet with a plug hanging out of the canvas.

“Art is made to be seen,” Fewell said. “It needs to be shared. So to have people see people like it or not like it … that sort of response is crucial to growing as an artist.”

Although it was a cold night, several students stood outside the dome to watch Thomas Galapin, computer science major, create art on commission. Galapin, who has been practicing spray paint art for a year, uses fire and different tools to make his paintings come alive. He primarily makes pictures of galaxies, landscapes and portraits.

“Working in this medium, it’s fast, so you’re not having to wait hours upon hours for a piece to dry and go back to it,” Galapin said. “You can work on it in, like, five seconds if you know what you’re doing … And if you just want detail, you can just spend more time on it if you want.”

Thomas Galapin creating spray paint art at the Jazz. Art. Coffee. event. Photo courtesy of Brenda Covarrubias.

The Neighborhood Coffee Company, a small business that hopes to partner with APU in the future, provided coffee. Tim Shenkin, proprietor of Neighborhood Coffee Company, expressed his appreciation for being given the opportunity to sell at the event.

“What I love about the partnership is that I’m striving to create a neighborhood culture,” Shenkin said. “And to see so many rad students not only put on an awesome event but also want something bigger for their community — it fits right in line with my vision for the coffee company.”

The Jazz Band who performed at the event identified themselves as “a hodgepodge” of musicians who were happy to perform in front of their peers.

“It’s really cool just coming together and sharing what we have and pursuing something that we’re all passionate about,” said May Siu, a junior music major.

The event ended gradually with many people lingering at the dome not quite ready to call it a night.