Artistic-minded people of all ages and skill sets can let their creative juices flow every week while enjoying the cool breezes of the North Sound on the Camana Bay Crescent.
Open Canvas, which takes place at KARoo every Wednesday from 7pm until 11pm, was created by Douglas Cameron Jr. – known better as J.R. – from Peripheral Life and Style. It was borne out of the idea to provide a safe and supportive space for creative people to gather and create art.
“When I first started painting, I felt I was too structured,” says J.R. “I just wanted to paint and be around other artists. I created the night to have an open platform, whether you want to paint or draw or graphic design on your computer, and just be around other productive, creative people.”
J.R. created the original Open Canvas at a wine bar in Orlando and brought the weekly event to KARoo in 2012. Artists need to bring their own supplies and J.R. provides the inspirational space complete with easels and tables for people to gather, while enjoying a glass of local brew or wine, sponsored by Caybrew and Premier Wines.
“The feedback I hear the most is from people who haven’t painted in years,” J.R. says. “They say Open Canvas has provided them the space and the opportunity to become re-inspired and to get creative again. We get people to come out of their shell and overcome a social fear. So many of our regulars would have never dreamed of creating art in front of people but in our group setting, we give them confidence to defeat their insecurities and come out.” All art enthusiasts are encouraged to join in the fun.
“A big misconception about Open Canvas is that it’s for professional artists,” says J.R. “We actually encourage beginners and amateur/hobbyist artists.”
If people are nervous about being on display, KARoo provides plenty of tables and chairs for anyone to work discreetly. The easels are there for people who like them, but people should feel free to sit at a table.
Open Canvas welcomes all ages including children, but parents do need to be present for them to participate. For more information, contact J.R. at [email protected].