Friday evening marked the Art Club’s inaugural Masquerade Ball and it was a smashing success. With approximately 100 masked attendees throughout the night, the club’s leaders, Nasim Rasoulipour, Joel Lara, Lexus Garces, and Yejin Kim, agree that it is likely to be a repeat event.

“I think all of us art club leaders were really blown away by how well attended the event was,” said Garces, a senior biology student. 

Rasoulipour, Art Club president and senior interdisciplinary student, echoed that, saying, “My favorite part was when everyone was having a great time and started a dance circle and enjoyed their time together…. It was really awesome!”

However, the Ball did not happen overnight. It involved months of planning and significant collaboration between the Art Club leaders and their advisor, Randy Horst, professor of art. Corie Stienke, the Campus Activities Council advisor, and Zach Frank, a Residence Life Coordinator, also assisted by providing supplies, marketing, and advice.

The idea for the Masquerade Ball originated with Rasoulipour. Her brother, a Goshen College alum, hosted a masquerade as a floor event when he was an RA and Rasoulipour was inspired. She began planning for this night during May Term of 2019. 

“I knew if I was going to make it happen and turn it into a tradition, I needed to work way ahead,” said Rasoulipour.

The other Art Club leaders quickly jumped on board. Kim, a senior music major and spanish minor, said, “We thought it would be fun to have more creative and social events for the student body, and envisioned the Masquerade Ball as a great way to kick-off the spring semester.”

Throughout the brainstorming and visioning process, these students were unwaveringly supported by Horst.

“I was impressed with how the Art Club connected with others across campus, both to put on the Ball – for example having student bands playing – and in sharing our corner of campus with others,” he said.

The evening featured several Goshen College bands and artists with Mechudos y Peludos kicking the night off with their high energy set. Following them was Goshen Panic, a brass band whose music filled the high-ceilinged room. Jehan Wagenaar, better known as DJehan, played hit after hit and the night closed with Kyle Hufford, associate professor of communication, acting as DJ. 

Students came in their finest attire, with masks made out of everything from construction paper, to branches and leaves, to liquid eyeliner and sparkling eyeshadow. 

One guest, Ethan Lapp, a senior social work and PJCS major, wore his authentic Venetian mask. He said, “My friend recently traveled to Venice and brought me back a mask. I couldn’t turn down an opportunity to wear it.”

The Art Club even hosted a mask making event earlier in the week, so there was no excuse to come maskless. 

Stephanie Dilbone, 2019 GC grad and Ball guest, said, “I was impressed by how committed everyone was to their costumes.”

The colorful costumes and masks fit in perfectly with the decor. Swathes of crepe paper were draped across the ceiling, balloons bounced around the dance floor, and multicolored lights flashed. The Art Club leaders had set the stage for a party.

“My favorite part of the evening was seeing the place beautifully decorated and full with people. I enjoyed seeing people getting creative with their masks and dancing away,” said Kim.

The evening was completed by a professional photo booth, run by Rasoulipour herself.

“I heard a few students talking [who] seemed surprised that it was a ‘legit’ photo booth rather than just a space to take selfies, and I thought it was really cool that the art club was able to share the club leaders’ talents and skills, like photography, with the rest of campus,” said Garces.

In the end, the first ever Art Club-sponsored Masquerade Ball was a hit. Though she is graduating this spring, Rasoulipour is already thinking into next year’s ball. She said, “After seeing all of those creative masks, I really think that next year we should have a Mask Winner…  I think this will encourage more creativity to come out and that is what we are all about here in Art Club!”

If you are interested in getting involved in Art Club or any of their events, contact any of the leaders listed above.