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Free community drop-in art making space opens on Family Day

Christine Renaud, founder of the County Art Kitchen

The Art Kitchen, a place where everyone can gather and make art, friends, meet neighbours and build community, will unfold free of charge in Picton.

“Art making, especially with our neighbours, has been proven to contribute to physical and mental wellbeing and strengthening communities,” says founder Christine Renaud. “It’s a simple, low cost way to enrich our lives and that of those around us, so it makes sense to do this, especially at a time when many of us struggle. Self-expression, skill sharing, joy, and friendship are what we hope to make flourish at The Art Kitchen.”

Opening night of the weekly Monday evening sessions – Feb. 18 Family Day – will feature longer hours in celebration, from 3p.m. to 6p.m.

“Everyone is welcome to use the art materials available, learn from each other, be creative, have tea, coffee and snacks, and contribute to making The Art Kitchen an inclusive, fun place to be,” said Renaud.

The Art Kitchen, she said, is based on the Art Hive model, which began in Montreal at Concordia University.

“The Art Hives network connects small and  regenerative  community art making spaces. It aims to strengthen and promote the benefits of these  inclusive, welcoming spaces across Canada, and throughout the world. Often called “third spaces” (after home and work or school), The Art Kitchen will create  opportunities for dialogue, skill sharing, and art making between  people of differing socio-economic backgrounds, ages, cultures and abilities.”

Everyone can be creative whether you feel like a talented person, or not.

“It’s not about whether a person can draw or not, but about the process of making things which is a human activity that can be joyful and help us connect to each other, and express ourselves,” said Renaud.

Renaud recently returned from Montreal to learn from the Art Hives already established there and is looking forward to intensive Art Hive four-day training in Toronto next month.

The Art Kitchen will be open Mondays, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the space occupied by Prince Edward Learning Centre and Loyola, in Picton.

“I am so grateful to be able to hold The Art Kitchen in this great space, centrally located right in the Sobeys plaza and I want to thank both PELC and Loyola for the opportunity and their support,” says Renaud.

“Though The Art Kitchen is an initiative separate from those organizations, it does dovetail beautifully with goals of lifelong learning and literacy.”

In addition to access to art and craft materials, there will be informal instruction on a wide variety of art practices in The Art Kitchen, including sketching, collage, zine making, embroidery, felting, cartooning, origami, and more.

“Much will depend on skill sharing between people who use the space,” says Renaud.

Currently, fundraising is under way with a GoFundMe online campaign for The Art Kitchen to help raise funds for art materials, art tools, and set up of the space. Individuals wanting to contribute outside of that campaign, can contact Renaud directly at: christinerenaud.pec@gmail.com

Filed Under: Arts & CultureCOMING EVENTSLocal News

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