Painted rain barrels photographed in the ceramics studio.

Brenau students paint rain barrels for Chattahoochee Riverkeeper fundraiser

Jun 13, 2019
Michael Lowe

Written by Michael Lowe

Students from Brenau’s Center for the Arts & Design (CAD) recently painted rain barrels that were sold at silent auction during Chattahoochee Riverkeeper’s annual Wild and Scenic Film Festival held Saturday, May 11, at the Brenau Downtown Center.

Members of Kappa Pi art honor society, Zeta Tau Alpha sorority and Anime Club painted the barrels, which feature a variety of themes including one inspired by Hayao Miyazaki films, a sunset with palm trees, a wooden barrel, flowers and bees, and a sailboat on the ocean.

The film festival, which was co-sponsored by Brenau, promotes grassroots environmental activism through art and film that illustrate Earth’s beauty, present the challenges facing the planet and highlight the community work around the world to protect our environment.

“Painting the rain barrels was not only a therapeutic event for all of us involved, but it was also very rewarding knowing that you were supporting such a great cause,” says Jazmin Decker, senior fashion merchandising major and graphic design intern in Brenau’s Office of Marketing & Communications.

“Knowing that you can use your talents for the benefit of helping others is a great feeling, and I’m so glad I was able to participate in painting alongside my peers and professors,” Decker says “Together we were able to support the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, and we’re looking forward to participating in this amazing experience again in the future.”

Brenau students also worked with Chattahoochee Riverkeeper in November, helping place “No Dumping/Drains to Lake” markers near storm drains around Brenau’s historic Gainesville campus. The service day project was part of the university’s Keep Brenau Kind initiative.

“Our supporters in the community really appreciate the work Brenau students do for us,” says Dale Caldwell, director of Chattahoochee Riverkeeper’s Headwaters office in Gainesville. “It’s also very important to us and something we want to continue and expand upon in the future.

“With so many components to the work we do, there are opportunities for more than just students in programs such as biology to engage. We’ve worked with Brenau communication students in the past, and it’s great that we can now include CAD in our efforts as well.”

Funds raised from the Wild and Scenic Film Festival support Chattahoochee Riverkeeper’s Neighborhood Water Watch program, a community-led effort to assess and improve water quality in urban streams while protecting human health in neighboring communities. To learn more about the program and view water quality data at their website.

The Center for the Arts & Design is a collaboration of the Art & Design Department, which is comprised of studio art, fashion design and fashion merchandising programs, as well as the Interior Design Department and Brenau University Galleries to promote interdisciplinary cooperation and further greater access to academic programs and professional development opportunities for students, faculty and the Brenau community.

Rain barrels seen during the silent auction at the Wild and Scenic Film Festival.