Platteau reopens with full house, celebrates body positivity

Photograph by Linden Warling

Flowers, fabric scraps and a fabulous array of music set the scene for the Platteau’s grand reopening on Feb. 11. Students congregated in the welcoming aura and bright lights of the fantastic art and community space on the bottom floor of Platt West.

According to one of the Platteau managers, Lauren Arriola ’24, the event went off without a hitch.  

“So much happened that I didn’t expect to happen, and that’s the beauty of the Platteau, that’s what happens here,” Arriola said. “It’s really special. People are just so real, and themselves, and their art transforms (the Platteau).” 

The night’s activities included live figure drawing, patch sewing and clay modeling. However,  the highlight of the event was the performances by various students, which included a sneak preview of Ezri Reyes’ ’22 theatre thesis and two singers, Wy Deshong ’22 and Blaise Harrison ’25. 

Events like this are the reason that Matea Carlin ’24 became a manager for the Platteau. 

“It’s just another instance of when things are kind of chaotic in life,” Carlin said. “Then we come here and then figure it all out, it all works out…it often exceeds expectations.”

Reyes, another manager, was equally enthusiastic about how the night played out.

“I think it was magical that we ended up meeting that exact max capacity of 30,” Reyes said. “And the assortment of showcasing that we had and the amount of people who showed up.” 

The student performances were the highlight of the event, which had an overall theme of body positivity.

“It’s totally inspiring,” Carlin said. “I enjoy watching the performances so much and it makes me so happy to see people be happy.”

If you missed the event, never fear: The Platteau plans to hold more soon, including monthly open mic nights, live drawings, themed drawing nights and shows with campus radio station KPH.

“We have the drawing workshop we talked about, (a) still life workshop in combination with Fruit Party,” Arriola said. “We get a bunch of fruit and fun foods, and everyone draws and has a good time, then we cut (the fruit) up and eat it and go bananas.” 

They also plan to host more movie nights during the semester, and make use of the new art materials they were able to pick up recently.

“We’re hoping to get a projector,” Reyes said. “Last semester we did Rocky Horror.”

However, the Platteau is not just about new events — for years now it has been the home of artists and non-artists alike, a place where lasting memories and friendships are made. 

“We want more traditions to start out of here, and continue the ones we already have, and we want the place to be more colorful, more loud than it already is, and I want people to feel more welcome,” Arriola said. “A goal is to have so many materials that people can do whatever they want.”

The Platteau is a unique space on campus and it is free for everyone since the swipe access charge has been removed. There are a huge variety of materials to work with, rehearsal spaces to use and instruments to play. 

This space gives every student the chance, the room and the audacity to create something magical.

“You see people become friends,” Reyes said. “People will just come and use the space for their own event, or their own community, that’s what it’s for — community building.”

The Platteau is open for students from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weeknights and midnight on weekends. Sign up through their Google form, accessible through the link in their Instagram bio, to gain free swipe access.

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