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4 painting classes to help cultivate your creativity

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Whether professional or amateur, there’s more than a few painting classes in Columbus for adults to choose from. Paired with wine and cocktails, or even dedicated to illustrating your pet, these classes are wide-ranging. While each class is taught by a different instructor, their affirmation for students is one and the same. Recently, (614) spoke to four artists who are leading the city’s adult painting trend.

Michelle Diercks

Though Wine & Canvas originated in Indianapolis, it was Michelle Diercks who founded the Columbus branch, noticing the expansion of the art market. “It’s for people who want to come for leisure to relax and enjoy themselves. I find it fascinating when someone’s like ‘Oh, who’s your demographic?’ and there really isn’t one,” she says. “We have kids, girls night out, dates—it’s a really fun environment.” While Wine & Canvas is meant for leisure, as guests indulge in flowing alcohol to relax any first-time painters, Dierck assures participants that the experience will put them at ease. “People are looking for that kind of experience; they want to have a creative outlet but there’s a lot of commitment to trying to pick up an art hobby. This gives them a sample and it’s a safe environment because they’re there to have fun. There’s an instructor that’s helping you,” she says. “The instructor’s not going to critique your work; they’re really there to help and support and to really break it down for you so you understand that it doesn’t have to be perfect.”

Contact:wineandcanvas.com/columbus-oh.html

Photos: Brian Kaiser

Joe Lombardo

Pushed into teaching an adult painting class through his former CCAD professor, Michael McEwan, landscape painter Joe Lombardo centers his classes on plein air painting, meeting guests at parks such as Goodale and Schiller. “I have several lessons where I try to teach them that painting is not precious. I also have to sometimes get them to think differently, because they’ll just come to the class thinking that a painting has to look absolutely real,” Lombardo says. “Accuracy is sometimes given up for expression, it doesn’t have to be perfect and exact.” Associated with various art platforms, including Columbus Cultural Art Center and McConnell Arts Center, Lombardo teaches adult students not to fear the canvas, but to embrace its intimidation to allow room for confidence. “I think that art-making, painting, drawing and self-doubt come hand-in-hand,” he says. “Something about when you’re going to pour yourself into this work of art, and part of making art is not just for you to look at, but for people to see it.”

Contact:josephlombardo.weebly.com

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Anna Sokol

Furnished with open windows, long tables covered by brown paper and a canvas space for the owner’s own work, Art With Anna began as a children’s art studio before starting adult classes. “I was in my twenties and I was teaching these adults, parents and grandparents. It was daunting at first, but honestly, they’re just like children,” she says. “There’s this unknowing, and all people want to do is learn how to be better, so it made sense. People just want attention and to be directed and receive guidance and a way to be creative, but that has diminished as we become adults.” Wanting guests to be pleasantly surprised by their crafts once leaving class, Sokol says that painting can be like “ripping the bandaid off”— conquering fear before putting paint brush to canvas. “One of the things I say is, ‘It’s a canvas, not a tattoo,’ ” she says. Getting it perfectly right on a canvas is so debilitating sometimes that I can’t get their mind into perspective, like ‘You are allowed to mess up.’ ”

Contact: artwithanna.com

Maureen Clark

One step into Maureen Clark’s studio below Chromedge Photo Lab in Franklinton, and you’re fully immersed in works of impressionism, and perhaps a complimentary can of PBR. Much like Wine & Canvas, Clark holds her own Paint & Pour classes once a month at Camelot Cellars, where students can paint their own wine glasses with themes that correlate hand-in-hand with any given holiday that month. “Art is one of those things that’s beyond that language barrier. Art is so interesting because it’s healing, it’s therapeutic,” she says. A former manager of Art With Anna when Anna Sokol had her first child, Clark welcomes guests to bring in their own templates, observing that they ultimately tend to put their own spin on individual works. “There’s always one person in the class that’s overwhelmed and thinking ‘Oh gosh, I could never do this,’ ” she says. “It’s always wonderful at the end to see that they have done it, and sometimes they’re the best ones.”

Contact: maureeneclarkart.com

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Things To Do

New comedy club bringing laughs downtown this summer

614now Staff

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Started as a small improv group around the fall of 2012, Hashtag Comedy Co. has since grown into a full-fledged improv comedy company offering shows, classes, and training to comedy fans in Central Ohio. 

Now, Hashtag has announced a new downtown headquarters to help keep the laughs coming. Opening Summer 2020 at 346 E Long St. at the corner of Long and Grant in downtown Columbus, the venue will focus on improv comedy but also provide audiences with standup, sketch, and variety shows.

“Opening a space for people to be creative and showcase their comedy has been a dream of ours for nearly our entire time together,” Sarah J Storer, founding member, co-owner and Artistic Director at The Hashtag Comedy Company says on their website. “When this opportunity came to us to open a venue in the heart of the city we love, we knew it was the right time and place to make it happen.”

The venue will hold 45-55 patrons on most nights, but can open to accommodate up to 90 for specialty shows and engagements. Stocked with a bar in the theater space and right next door to gourmet to-go kitchen Cluster Truck, patrons will be able to enjoy a great meal and a drink while taking in a show. Classes and corporate workshops will occupy the space during weekends and non-show nights as well as working hours during the day. 

To learn more about how you can get involved with The Hashtag Comedy Company, visit hashtagcomedy.com

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Food & Drink

Tastebud Traveling: Free tasting event coming to North Market

614now Staff

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Take a family tastebud trip with the return of Kalamata’s Kitchen Tasting Tour at the North Market this weekend.

Kalamata’s Kitchen will kick off a 12-month, 12-city tasting tour in Columbus on Saturday, February 22. This premier event for kids and families will feature tasty bites from North Market vendors representing food from around the world.

According to a release, every child participant is treated like a VIP as they discover new foods and learn about unique perspectives from celebrated chefs. Kids receive a VIP badge and a Food Adventure Passport that is stamped each time they try a new food. They will also have the opportunity to meet Sarah Thomas, co-founder and author of the Kalamata’s Kitchen book series.

This event is free and open to the public.

For more information, visit kalamataskitchen.com and/or northmarket.com.

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Things To Do

Ohio Plans Statewide St. Patrick’s Day Party at the Polls

Linda Lee Baird

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You may be so busy making St. Patrick’s Day plans that you’ve forgotten another important event happening on Tuesday, March 17. That’s right: it’s the Ohio primary!

You have until Tuesday, February 18 to register to vote or update your registration in time to vote in the primary. The state has made it very easy for you to register right now, from wherever you’re sitting, without having to go anywhere on this snowy day. Just grab your ID, and click here

Then make a plan to vote on March 17, and reward yourself with a green beer afterwards. Sláinte! 

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