Every two weeks, a coalition of creatives with a variety of academic interests gather in Campus Y’s Anne Queen Faculty Commons.
While they do not share the same field of study, they share the same passion — a passion for art.
Regardless of an artist’s skill level or creative medium, the UNC club Earthtones fosters a safe haven on campus to find community and express themselves through their art.
“I think the idea of Earthtones is just to celebrate the brown people in our community and just pay homage to the beautiful color spectrum we create,” Eliyambuya Baker, the club’s head of two-dimensional art and design, said.
The all-BIPOC art collective, which officially started last fall, hosts biweekly community meetings and “paint-and-sips,” during which members can meet to experiment with a new art form together.
“We like to do a different medium for each meeting. So maybe it's oil pastel, it’s watercolor, maybe it's drawing,” Baker said. “It just gave people a chance to try something new and give an access to materials they maybe wouldn't have had before.”
Lokumo Eteni, a junior transfer student and member of the collective, finds that being around other like-minded creatives helps improve their own art and motivates them to do better.
“When I came to UNC, I was really trying to look for my people, specific people that enjoy the stuff that I do,” Eteni, a musician, said. “Earthtones has really helped me find people that are like me, that really like expressing themselves through art, connecting with each other in art, talking about it and using it to grow or to help ourselves or whatever it is that we use art to do.”
While the coalition helps artists of color build connections, it also gives back to the community by amplifying local artists of color in the Triangle area. As a part of their community outreach roles, executive team members Ye-Bon Hong and Lucien Boileve have been interviewing local artists, such as Tina Louise Vasquez, about the process and motivation behind their art.