Workshops Bring Out the Artist in Everyone
Susan Opasik | August 04, 2011
Martin County (Fla.) Library System has hit the mother lode recently with a series of art workshops that have tapped into a seemingly endless number of potential participants.
Seeking a local artist to present free adult art workshops as part of the library system’s summer series, Beating the Heat Is a Breeze at the Blake Library, Associate Director of Public Services Judi Snyder made inquiries into Martin County’s art community. Pamela Hoke not only took up the challenge, presenting a dynamic three-hour hands-on demonstration and PowerPoint presentation, but also expanded the age range, opening the classes to a multigenerational audience.
Having added a preregistration requirement late in the game, library staff welcomed seventeen walk-ins and thirty-five registrants to the John F. Armstrong Wing, which had been set up with plastic-covered tables, chairs, and cloth tarps on the carpeted floor. There were thirteen children, ranging in age from seven to sixteen. The Friends of the Blake Library in Stuart, Inc., funded workshop supplies and the artist’s fee. Help was provided by Friends, staff, and participants volunteering spontaneously.
Stopping in to see the quiet swarm of activity, newly appointed director Brett Lear commented, “It’s great to see children brushing shoulders with seventy-year-olds.” Participants in the “Wonders of Watercolors” workshop completing post-event surveys expressed gratitude for the “relaxing atmosphere,” “freedom to create,” “friendship,” and opportunity to learn a new medium. More than one wished for more time.
Following the July 15 workshop, a Stuart News article with photos of the instructor and participants resulted in a rush of calls that completely filled the artist’s August 26 workshop, “Emotional Expressions with Color,” limited to forty participants, ages ten and up. A waiting list was not an option because of limited space, but names and contact information are being kept for future programs of this nature, which are clearly a hit with the community.
For more information, visit Martin County Library System website or call (772) 221-1403.
Susan Opasik is a library assistant in the Public Relations unit of the Blake Library, Martin County Library System.