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The Daily Tar Heel

Student group puts on paint-covered Twister in the Pit

ArtHeels, an organization of students that participates in art-therapy for mental illnesses, held a game of "Messy Twister" with colorful paint on Wednesday afternoon in the pit for students to de-stress during midterms.
ArtHeels, an organization of students that participates in art-therapy for mental illnesses, held a game of "Messy Twister" with colorful paint on Wednesday afternoon in the pit for students to de-stress during midterms.

ArtHeels, a student organization dedicated to bringing art therapy to the UNC community, hosted the Messy Twister Wednesday to help students blow off steam. About 30 to 40 students participated.

Sophomore global studies major Christina Lee saw the event on Facebook and decided to come and have some fun.

“It definitely took my mind off the schoolwork for a little bit,” she said.

Sophomore Michelle Brisson participated in Messy Twister after her classes Wednesday.

“It sounds like really fun, and it’s a good way to de-stress after a long day’s classes,” Brisson said.

Brisson said playing with paint helped her shake off her academic stress.

Lee said playing in the paint was fun, but watching people play was entertaining as well.

“I don’t know if I like watching or playing better,” she said.

Lee said the event made her feel like a kid again.

Anjani Patel, social chairwoman of ArtHeels, said the club held the event Wednesday for a reason.

“We choose (the event) around exam time when we think students are under the highest amount of stress and pressure due to midterms,” Patel said.

Sara Miles, president of ArtHeels, said the club was founded by a UNC student eight years ago after she visited art therapy at a hospital in Florida. Since then, the club has been committed to bringing art therapy to the healthcare setting, according to its website.

Miles said the club started off by providing art therapy to patients in hospitals, and it’s now branching out to serve the whole University and Chapel Hill community.

In the spring, the club hosted an exam-relaxation event during reading week where students were able to splatter paint on large canvas sheets in the Pit.

Patel said the club also does off-campus events, including art projects in elementary schools.

She said getting to go into the community and using art skills to help others is the greatest part of this club for her.

“It’s really art therapy for yourself,” Patel said.

Miles said she was worried whether people would be willing to participate, but she was happy about the turnout.

“I was kind of nervous whether people will be willing to get their clothes messy and if people walking by would be interested in participating,” she said.

Miles said the club would host similar events in the future to help students de-stress.

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Sophomore Hanna Isenberg came to this event because she wanted to get messy.

“I feel less stressed, a little tired though,” she said.

ArtHeels members and Messy Twister attendees all said the event was a de-stressing success.

“(It was) new, fun, and it’s a happy experience,” Isenberg said.

university@dailytarheel.com