May 17, 2024

Cocoa and Canvas offers students opportunity to get creative, show Vol pride

UT Students created their own Vol-themed artwork on Friday afternoon at the Cocoa & Canvas event in Fred Brown Hall.

Creative Commons- Steven Depolo's Flickr

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The popular organization Wine & Canvas hosted Cocoa & Canvas in Fred Brown Hall on Friday afternoon. Students gathered to enjoy an afternoon of painting and hot cocoa.

“Our Wine & Canvas events are a great way for people to relax and have a fun night socializing with friends,” said Tracey Crocker, the art instructor of the evening and owner of Wine & Canvas.

With blank canvases, a set of clean brushes and a palette of bright paints before them, 50 students sat down with a cup of hot cocoa and set to work to paint a classic Tennessee symbol: Smokey.

“Many schools across the country are having a hard time keeping art classes in the annual budget, but we know how important creativity is for a growing mind,” Crocker said.

With just a few simple instructions, the students began painting. Though hesitant at first, the canvases around the room were gradually filled with color as the instructor demonstrated step-by-step how to outline and color Smokey.

No matter the experience level, each student was able to participate and create a work of art.

“I wanted to go because I thought it would be a fun way to spend my Friday afternoon and a great way to take a break from homework and school,” said freshman Jasmine Blue. “I really enjoyed Cocoa and Canvas. I’m not much of an artist, however they made it super easy to follow along and make a Vol spirited masterpiece.”

As each painting began to take shape, the students gained confidence with every brush stroke. By the end of the two-hour session, everyone around the room was smiling as they held their Smokey canvas. Every student got to keep their canvas, as well as the memory of a fun night of painting and hot cocoa.

Featured image by Steven Depolo via his Flickr account, obtained using

Edited by Taylor Owens

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