Art school offers classes for friends, parents, kids and mates

PORT TOWNSEND — The first question for the pairs of people in this art class was: How did you meet, really?

There was a guitar teacher and his student, who ended up married. There were yoga buddies, guys who met on a guided hike and residence-hall mates from college.

All joined a class called Date Night at Northwind Art School.

Dana Sullivan and Kate Lovejoy cooked up the evening for duos of any kind: sweethearts, buddies, siblings — and in they came for the first Date Nights this spring.

One evening, participants made dioramas depicting how they met. At the end of the two-hour class, they did show-and-tell, sharing the stories in them, with much laughter in the process.

“It’s two hours of joy and play,” said Sullivan, who teaches a variety of classes at the nonprofit Northwind Art School at Fort Worden State Park.

He and Lovejoy are planning different art projects for the next Date Nights: June 13, July 11 and Aug. 8, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The fee for each is $30 per person, including all materials. Pairs can sign up at https://northwindart.org.

The Date Night in May “was incredibly delightful because it was our dream realized,” Lovejoy said.

“There were a mix of people coming to join us: couples, parent and child, friends: All folks coming together to set aside time to intentionally connect through making art.

“I love working with Dana and particularly love that every Date Night is different,” they added. “Every lesson plan we come up with is designed to bring people together, and it is never repeated.”

The same goes for Adult & Child Art with Heart, the pairs class that gave rise to the Date Night idea. Sullivan and Lovejoy have been teaching it for more than a year, offering it once a month on a weekday afternoon for adults with youngsters ages 6 to 17.

“It’s an art date for you and a youngster in your life, and no previous art experience is necessary,” said Northwind Art spokesperson Diane Urbani.

The next Adult & Child Art with Heart is set for 4:30 p.m. June 20. The class gave Lovejoy and Sullivan the idea for Date Night; they are similar in that both are about connecting and having fun, and not about making a piece of art for a gallery or museum.

“These classes are a way to relax and make something colorful and not too serious at all,” Urbani said.

“I love seeing how much people laugh when they’re making and sharing their creations,” she added.

Northwind Art School, formerly the Port Townsend School of the Arts, also offers eight summer day camps and activities for youngsters and their families this July and August. Classes for teens and adults include Introduction to Risograph Printing on June 21, Paint from Poems on July 8 and Introduction to Natural Dyeing on July 28.

Details about supplies and teaching artists can be found via the Take a Class heading at NorthwindArt.org.

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