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“I am painting my pot based on tribal tattoos using shades of black and red,” a student says during the Studium Generale event. He had been doodling tribal tattoos during lectures and that inspired him for this. “This is my first time at the workshop, I think it is a good way to relax.” A friend brought him along and so far, he’s been having a good time. “I’m also planning on talking to the others and compliment them on their pots. We can all use some positive reinforcement while making art.”

A participant who comes to the workshop more often, shows us her pot and explains: “I first want to paint it fully green and then add another layer with lavender flowers. Making art has a very nostalgic feeling and reminds me of when I was a child.”

Her boyfriend is painting different items that remind him of his home country, Brazil, such as waves, the sun and trees. He hopes to go to the workshop more often and aims to work on connecting the different elements in a painting. “When it’s done, we will exchange our pots,” they say. They like the idea of creating something for each other.

Kim Harte, co-founder of the café, explains the concept: “The Open HeArt Café is a space where you can unwind after a long day of studying, meet other students and get in touch with your inner artist. This inner artist is something you have as a child but slowly lose over time. Art can help you regain it.”

At the end of the workshop, twelve beautifully painted plant pots stand on the table. Everyone gets to choose specific seeds to plant in their pot at home. The red of the tomato-seeds fits the red in the tribal tattoos. The artist says he doesn’t think his painting is very accurate nor is it exactly how he envisioned it to be. “The end result doesn’t matter though, it’s about having fun along the way”, he says with a big smile.