A Paint Party Unlocks Hidden Talents

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By Rachelle Anthony

Excitement filled the air inside the Equality Charter School in Co-Op City on April 7th. As the sounds of the latest R&B tunes played inside the cafeteria, almost everyone walked through the door snapping their fingers and grooving to the beat.

There were over 30 participants, adults and children, who registered for the opportunity to be a part of the fast growing social activity, Paint Party. The event was sponsored by the Parent Teacher Association in connection with Pinot’s Palette. On each of the four double-sided cafeteria tables were 14 canvases on table top easels, a variety of paint brushes, and paper plate palettes with various colors paint.

With their aprons on, participants, or rather aspiring artists, were ready and eager to begin painting the landscape artwork “Midnight Moon Glow.” Artist instructor Moe Qadiri’s sense of humor kept everyone engaged. He provided step by step instructions from the first stroke of paint until completion of the painting. Two additional artists were also on hand to provide further assistance.

As the music played and the hands of paint brushes glided across what was a blank canvas, it was evident by the smiles and attention to details that everyone was focused on their work. “Beautiful,” said Errol Olton, Director of Adult Programming. “It’s good to paint with people you like.”

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Everyone was so engaged in their paintings that no one, not even once, pulled out their phones to make a call, text or connect to social media.

Anyone who may have had concerns about his or her ability to paint were surprised by what they were able to accomplish. “A little challenging in the beginning but once you get the hang of it, you’re fine,” said Nykefa Jones.

After the completion of Midnight Moon Glow, everyone walked around to view, admire and compliment the paintings of others as well as their own. “My painting came out pretty good,” said Daniel Johnson.

“My work”, said Makayia Burke, “is beautiful!” PTA Treasurer Damica Whetstone was elated. She said, “Outstanding. I enjoyed it. I love it. I love the way it came out.”

groupPaint parties are a hit because they allow people to come together to paint, have fun, exhibit their talents and use their imagination to create.

What’s more, there is no right or wrong way to paint. There are no mistakes in art. Some of the best artwork in galleries today came from an accidental stroke of a paint brush — a mistake.

Paint parties allow people to be expressive in their own unique way, abstract or concrete.

“I thought it was very therapeutic and very fun,” said Michelle Jones, the PTA vice president. “I love every aspect of it, from him (the instructor) teaching us how to start it off. I never had an art class before and I have to say, I’m proud of what I did tonight. I definitely would do this again. It was great!”

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