BY AMANDA MOSES
Gateway Intermediate School (IS) 364’s administration knows first-hand the importance of pa-rental involvement, which is why they host a variety of family friendly activities after school. One of the most popular projects the middle school holds is their Paint and Sip Night.
With the promise of donuts, cookies, and a delicious brew of hot chocolate, parents and their children gathered from 5pm to 7:30pm on February 26th for a free, fun art class. The biggest allure to this event was the ability for parents to relax with their children, while also catching up on the day-to-day school routine.
The class was run by Art Club instructor, Hannah Sharhan, who is a firm believer that art is a therapeutic activity everyone, no matter what their skill level is, can enjoy. “The Paint and Sip Night gives families a moment to be able to do something together that is relaxing,” she said.
Sharhan knows that painting can be intimidating, especially when you are staring at someone else’s final product as a guideline. She decided to break down the artwork in parts, numbering and labeling each section, so that the entire experience was not as daunting for participants.
For this activity, the class was asked to first prime their canvas, which requires painting with a special product so that it helps reduce background texture. The next step they took was drafting their concept on drawing paper. The project was simple: Paint a small piece of land with water in the foreground and a sunset in the background.
Twelve-year-old Joy Williams loves art; however, her forte is usually painting cute characters on rocks. So, the Paint and Sip Night was the perfect opportunity for Williams to try landscape art on a canvas. “I think it is so cool. I can actually sit down with my mom and relax while painting,” Williams said.
Maria Morello, a parent, was also excited to take part in the after school endeavor. “I think it is important to have activities for children to do when they finish the school day. It keeps them busy and out of trouble when they are bored,” Morello said.
The final part of the project ended with the class blending the sunset and other colors nicely so that everything appears seamless.
Photos by Amanda Moses