NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

Unidos Paint Night: Special night celebrates creativity, art, music and meditation

Participants in Unidos Paint Night show off their work in the Dimitry building on the Lawrence campusPhoto courtesy by Owner of Collectva & Wellness, Elizabeth Delgado

Paint Night participants hold up their artwork in the Dimitry building on the Lawrence campus on Sept. 27.

Unidos Paint Night at NECC Lawrence Campus on the night of Tuesday, Sept. 27, brought together a group of women to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month.

This wonderful group of all ages, and Hispanic demographics were brought together with a meditation guided by Elizabeth Delgado, owner of Colectiva Wellness & Healing, an employee wellbeing strategist and energy healing and resilience practitioner. As well there was a wonderful painting lesson taught by Nicole “Kiki” Garcia, an extremely talented multimedia artist and Lawrence native. The person who brought this all together was Analuz “Lulu” Garcia, NECC Director of Community Relations.

The night started off with introductions, stating names, ages, jobs, Hispanic heritages and stress levels. This group included women of all ages being students and faculty or even friends of faculty. Some stress levels ranged from one to one million. Soon after introductions we began breathing exercises taught by Delgado, everyone found one they gained relief from after practicing, hoping to take what they learned that night for when they need it. Then began a guided meditation where we envisioned our homelands, picturing colors and nature, being surrounded by our families, and the smell of our home cooked meals.

Katiashka Perez holding her painting.Photo by Shantely Aquino

Katiashka Perez holding her painting.

After, a painting lesson with Garcia began, we all had to choose the colors of our countries flags. The group gathered and we listened to Spanish music, laughed and did our own versions of the same painting. Different shades of blues and different shades of hands and unique flowers were painted.

An NECC nursing student, Katiashka Perez said “I came out because when I saw the event on the NECC event page online it sounded like fun.”

She had mentioned how she hadn’t necessarily been a painter, more of a drawer and how she does yoga and mediation sometimes.

Her stress level began with three and when asked at the end of the night it was brought down to one. She is of Puerto Rican descent and she was excited about this way of celebrating her Hispanic Heritage in this intimate setting.

This event wasn’t just a relaxing event for the participants but also for the hosts. Artist Garcia mentioned how when she gives a painting lesson to adults and children it is more structured and this night provided a calming fluidity when putting our individual paintings together. There, each and every painting being similar but not the same to the next.

When asking both Delgado and Garcia how long they’ve been hosting these paint nights they said it was their fourth ever. They had met at a vendor sale called Solude Arte, an art and wellness market which features local artists and healers that come together annually during holidays. From there they connected to bring people together with art and meditation.
Garcia is the very definition of a multimedia artist. When asked how she started she says “I learned how to paint before I could even walk,” with her father being an artist himself she was born into art. She has a bachelor’s degree in architecture but she also does commissions for digital and physical art alongside making jewelry, ceramics, sticker prints and writing. You can find her art on Instagram @kikididdat and shop on her site

An extremely talented and multi-faceted woman was the perfect person to guide the participants through this night with Delgado.

Delgado has been on a journey of spiritualism and event coordination for about 20 years. She is of Taino descent, she finds the term Puerto Rican to be colonized. She hates to label and box herself into a category but she labels what she does as employee wellbeing strategist, energy healing and resilience practitioner. With her H.R. and employee healing background along with her resilience work with PTSD and domestic volence victims she brought together her knowledge of these topics to create Collectiva Wellness & Healing.

With her words filled with the purpose of connecting and moving her audience she brought some women to tears.

Delgado says her journey began when she was helping a relative with a headache, she had the intention of simply taking away his pain and with enough thought he went away.

Soon she went on a spiritual journey and eventually found her way to energy healing which she now does as her career. She stated that one thing she wants everyone to know when reading this, Delgado states “I think it’s important to connect the intersections of art and healing into spaces because the two are so powerful. When you bring in art and wellness into a space it really transforms people and communities and the culture of places.”

After experiencing this night with the connection of art and healing everyone leaving that night could say their stress levels decreased.