ART PARTY at Suwannee River Studio

Yesterday at our regular Friday workshop, we did an art party. An art party is a fun event wherein non-artists come and are led step-by-step through making their very own original masterpiece, which they then take home with them. Some art parties charge $75 a head, but I’m always trying to give things away, so this was free for Suwannee River students. One student brought two guests who were visiting from out of town.

I say free, but we have a jar with the plant from Little Shop of Horrors, called “Feed Me Seymour” so students feed Seymour to reimburse me for supplies. I’m still in the hole, but hey, we’re trying to start something here. Don’t all start-ups require an investment? My officers constantly rebuke me for giving things away, so they make up for what I lack-profit motive. They are right; we have charitable programs to fund. Besides the co-op Studio itself, we partner with the library to do educational art-literature displays and want to raise money for the Benevolence fund, which helps seniors in financial crises. For example, one lovely senior I know needed a biopsy, since she woke up blind in one eye and they wanted to know if she had a brain tumor or blood clot or something. She didn’t have the $300 required and this bothered me. Thank God, a doctor got her the biopsy before I could run around passing a hat.

Art parties are a blast, lots of laughs, totally absorbing and the artists are justly proud of their paintings. I’m trying to train some students to do art parties because hey, I could get sick and you cannot cancel an art party-the show must go on. It’s exhausting for the presenter and at least one assistant is needed. If I’m trying to shepherd a dozen folks through a painting, I can’t stop when someone says, “Hey, I’m out of yellow over here.” I’m always delighted at how different each painting turns out, and amazed at the mid-stage when the room goes silent because everyone is concentrating so hard.

As I told one group: Notice-for the last two hours you have not worried about the electric bill or your crazy grandson. Therapeutic, isn’t it?

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