Photo by Sukittima Sukruaycharoen
Photo by Sukittima Sukruaycharoen

An Art Hive is a community art studio where everyone is welcomed as an artist. At its core, an Art Hive is about inclusion, diversity, respect and learning. UBC Okanagan’s Art Hive is located in the UNC 337 lounge with drop-in hours on Tuesday-Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Sophie Vinette, a Counsellor and Art Therapist at UBCO, said that the campus Art Hive was started just over a year ago with the goal to provide a space where students could take a break, create quietly or connect with others.

Vinette explained that art-making can be used to practice being in the present moment, also known as mindfulness: “Studies show that when we immerse ourselves in an activity, we can become in a flow state, also known as being ‘in the zone’. This enhances our focus, involvement and ability to enjoy the process of the activity. In doing so, students are likely to feel more refreshed after and able to tackle their next task or assignment.”

Drop-in sessions are facilitated by student volunteers who have a passion for art and helping others. Volunteers are present during drop-in hours to welcome participants and help newcomers familiarize themselves with the available supplies.

In regard to providing free art supplies for participants, Vinette said that “Health & Wellness has been able to support some of the costs associated with purchasing art supplies.”

However, the Art Hive also welcomes donations of used art supplies and recycled materials which helps the program remain sustainable: “If anyone has art supplies that they are no longer using or materials that they are thinking of throwing away, please consider the Art Hive.”

The Art Hive at UBCO continues to grow and thrive with an increased number of student volunteers, expanded drop-in hours and a variety of art supplies for students to use. It is a great resource for students and an important addition to the UBCO community.