We all know that summer is long gone, but that doesn’t mean spontaneous and fun moments have to go with it. In between writing papers and studying, you might find some time to indulge in these fun instances. However, most of the time, we’re so tired that we find ourselves just passing away free time with activities that distract the mind rather than inspire the mind. As much as we would love for you to spend your study breaks online (preferably on our site), why not take a break that encourages creativity in other ways? There is creativity in everything. Creativity can be found in taking a walk to get a new headspace or picking up a paintbrush or instrument. Think outside the box (and the social media bubble) by visiting some of these creative hot spots in Kingston.
If you’re ever in need for some inspiration during a study session at Stauffer, steps away lies the Union Gallery. In the foyer of the library, this contemporary art gallery is a hidden gem. The modern artwork provides a fascinating take on your standard idea of an art museum. Instead of a 17th century Dutch painting, you’ll see a life-sized tableau that the artist created from found objects, flowers, and fabricated carcasses. The artists comment on trends, themes, and history in a curious, innovative, and original way.
The gallery showcases up-and-coming artists while allowing students and professionals to work in tandem. Admission is free and the gallery is non-profit. What’s great about this campus connection is that students can submit work and apply to volunteer at the gallery.
Plan your visit! Union Gallery: http://uniongallery.queensu.ca/index.html
Bring out your musical soul and try doing a cover of one of your favourite tunes or creating something entirely new by playing around with an instrument. Don’t own an instrument, you say? You can borrow one for free from The Joe Chithalen Memorial Musical Lending Library in the Tett Centre for Creativity and Learning. The library has numerous instruments, including guitars, amplifiers, keyboards, drums, horns, and more— plus sheet music! To participate, all you need is I.D., proof of address in Kingston, and a $10 for the registration fee. After registering, you can borrow the instruments and resources free of charge!
The concept came from a wish to share music with others, as Joe’s M.I.L.L. was founded in memory of the brilliant musician Joe Chithalen. Along with help from friends, family and fellow musicians, his bandmate, the late Wally High, founded the Kingston Lending Library, which is also a registered charity.
While at the Tett Centre toting around your instrument and looking like a rockstar, don’t forget to explore the building. The Tett Centre is a hub for creativity and learning, after all! Throughout the building, you can find artists’ studios, the Kingston Art Council, and Modern Fuel, among other creative centres. I recommend finishing off your visit by having a treat from the Juniper Café or by playing your instrument at the Isabel Bader Centre.
Indulge in Your Artistic Side
What’s better than relaxing with friends while learning something new? On Paint Nite, you’ll be able to paint a masterpiece with your friends at a great restaurant while indulging in drinks and food! You don’t have to be a Picasso to participate; an instructor guides everyone through the same how-to for a certain painting, which takes about two hours. You can really let your creativity flow by changing the colours and following your own ideas— it’s your canvas, after all! To make the night extra special, arrive shortly before the event and have dinner with your friends. Paint Nite provides all the supplies (canvas, paint, brushes, smock, music), so all you have to do is purchase a ticket online and buy drinks and food if wanted. These events are 19+.
Have an Adventure
The drab winter weather got you down? Why not visit a thrift shop and scavenge through the racks to find something to add to your style? Go with a group, or on your own, and try to find the most unique or antique piece in the shop. Get inspired by your finds and have a theme party with friends by finding pieces that inspire a certain theme— for instance, think 80s vibe, grab some neon legwarmers and tie-dye tshirts, then hit up Barcadia, where you can turn back time by playing childhood video games! I highly recommend visiting the Salvation Army store on Thursdays because students get 50% off all clothing. Other great second-hand stores to check out in Kingston include What’ll I Wear, Phase 2, and Value Village.
Plan your visit! Salvation Army: http://www.kingstonsa.ca/
Bust a New Move
There are so many great clubs and organizations at Queen’s that hold events based around physical activity. You can partake in free fitness classes at the ARC, from yoga to Zumba to cycling and everything in between. By trying something new, you are participating in being creative!
Plan your visit! ARC Free Fitness Schedule: http://rec.gogaelsgo.com/sports/2013/7/31/Fit-Wel_0731130504.aspx
Don’t forget to colour outside the lines and take a break from the heavy academic lifestyle at Queen’s. Remember to recharge your batteries by being creative in any facet possible.