Primal Scream

On Sunday, a quick glance through the windows of Elson Art Center Room 212 revealed a scene filled with several people mixing, spreading and splattering colorful acrylic paint at The Courant’s special event, Primal Scream. Louise Ireland ’09, former editor-in-chief of The Courant, thought of the idea after hearing about Primal Screams at colleges. In Primal Screams at colleges like Harvard, students would gather to release pent up stress and emotions on the night before their final exams. Charles Shoener ’10, the new editor-in-chief of The Courant said, “We wanted to have an event that would be a collaboration between the two boards, the new board and the old board.” In order to help students release the emotions and stress of AP week, The Courant purchased a giant canvas, several tubes of acrylic paint and sharpie pens. Students had the option of drawing, painting and writing all over the canvas sheet. Shoener said, “The idea was for people to come and paint, draw, make a collage, write poems and really express anything they want.” The Courant publishes issues four times a year and pictures of the sheet will become part of The Courant’s Spring color issue. Along the long piece of canvas were the words, “continuum of time,” “an explosion of feelings is indescribable,” and, more simply, “hand.” These were accompanied by swirls and handprints in black, green, red, blue, and yellow paint. One corner had a minimalistic maze-like form that then evolved into a swirling mass of green and cobalt blue. Sunny He ’12 created another section filled with streaks of jagged lines, giving the effect of a graffiti wall. She said, “This is indescribable. It was awesome to just come and paint. It’s very relaxing, you can just let out all your feelings that are hard to put in words.” Seyoung Lee ’12 said that she loved the communal artistic pooling. She said that although each student technically had their own span of the canvas to work on, the drawings and paintings expanded to occupy a much bigger space, causing the final product to be a giant melding of different ideas. Nikki Shen ’12, said, “I went into it not knowing what to expect: I was actually really surprised to see everyone finger-painting! There wasn’t much room, but the fact that we were all working on it together was nice. Afterwards, looking at the completed canvas, maybe it wasn’t like conventional art, but it had this feeling of being together.” Ireland said that she “initially wanted a big canvas on the Great Lawn where people could gather and paint and, hopefully, it would evolve into some sort of giant paint fight. A lot of people had expressed interest about being able to create art on, and get paint all over, the Great Lawn.” Due to the weather, however, The Courant had to move the event indoors to the Elson classroom. Ireland said that she was originally worried that this would reduce the number of participants, but the student turn-out was still impressive. Jean Kim ’12 said, “It was a beautiful way to end the year—almost like a burst of creative energy like an actual scream from a rooftop.”