Monday, 18 December 2017

‘Painting Resilience – Drawing the Inside Out’ planned for Nov. 18

A participant in a previous “Drawing the Inside Out” event. Photo by Middletown Art Center staff.

MIDDLETOWN, Calif. – The Middletown Art Center, now in the sixth month of its year-long Resilience Project, is pleased to offer “Drawing the Inside Out” with Lisa Kaplan this Saturday, Nov. 18, from noon to 5 p.m.

Kaplan, a local artist and director at MAC, designed the approach some eight years ago.

“Part of the impetus for Drawing the Inside Out originally came from the notion that we hold memories, patterns and emotions in our body,” explained Kaplan. “We can draw out, give expression to, and often release these emotions through art making!”

Kaplan’s artwork is primarily figurative and quite expressive. She has been teaching art for over 30 years and editing educational videos for an acupuncturist for about 23. She is attuned to mind/body connections to wellness and the healing power of art.

Drawing the Inside Out involves shorter fun art exercises followed by a large scale, longer duration painting.

The principles of art and design are reiterated to assist participants in articulating their appreciation of others’ work, and to help them understand how they might strengthen their own visual statements.

For the focal piece of Drawing the Inside Out, participants take turns tracing one another, in a pose of their choice, on oversize paper. The drawing is then attached to a board on the wall where brush strokes, lines, shapes, textures, color, and sometimes collaged parts of the initial exercises, give expression to emotions and events held inside.

The physical movement involved in painting on a large format helps move stuck energy, and makes the experience particularly exhilarating and powerful.

“It’s sort of like dancing with your inner voice in color!” added Kaplan.

“Drawing the Inside Out made me much more sensitive to visual relationships in the world around us!” said participant Peggy Rose about the class. ”I now walk in nature, or in the garden and see colors, shapes, textures, patterns and movement in an entirely different way!”

The Resilience Project consists of low cost, quality art classes in photography, creative writing, painting and printmaking. It’s funded by a grant from the California Arts Council with support from Adventist Health and other local organizations. The purpose of the grant is to increase access to the arts in underserved communities like ours.

Resilience classes provide a safe space for community members to learn and hone skills that give form to their creativity. In these classes, students are able to reframe fire trauma as well as other personal experiences into artistic expression, or simply have a great time making art.

The project will culminate in countywide exhibits and a self-published chapbook of images and writings and images produced throughout the project.

Adults of all ages and teens 12 and up are welcome. Whether new to artmaking or professional, everyone interested is encouraged to attend one or many classes for just $5 per class. It’s a great way to spend the afternoon.

MAC is located at 21546 Highway 175 at the corner of Highway 29 in Middletown. RSVP with an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit www.middletownartcenter.org/resilience to reserve your spot and learn more about the Resilience Project. Preregistration is required as space is limited.

Community members take part in a previous “Drawing the Inside Out” event. Photo by Middletown Art Center staff.

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