Re-kindled love of art to be shared at Kings Playhouse

By Beth Atkinson for the Eastern Graphic

Amy MacConnell’s dad gave her a set of watercolour paints when she was nine. Almost 20 years later, she realizes painting for her is a passion that has now pushed her to lead her first public paint party.
Ms MacConnell will lead ‘Paint Party with Amy’ on Friday, April 13 at the Kings Playhouse in Georgetown.
As a child she would spend a lot of time in her room painting.
It wasn’t until her dad, Clifford Whitty would call her from her room that she’d take a break. But she never saw her own talent until now.
“I didn’t actually realize how much I enjoyed it until I looked back.”
Ms MacConnell has been a volunteer at the Playhouse since last November. When she was brainstorming ideas with executive director Haley Zavo at first they considered hosting a trendy East Coast Art Party. However, with Ms MacConnell’s painting skills in mind, Ms Zavo suggested she teach the paint party instead.
Ms MacConnell hadn’t considered painting let alone leading a class.
“I wasn’t giving myself much credit.”
When she showed her paintings to another Playhouse volunteer, he thought they were great. That’s when she took her talent a little more seriously, she said.
“It takes someone who isn’t family to get you out of your shell.”
Ms MacConnell bought an inexpensive canvas and some acrylic paints for her return to painting. As a subject she chose a jellyfish, a sea creature she loves.
“I told myself if I mess up, I mess up. I’ll throw it out.”
She said everyone should start out with inexpensive supplies until they know they really want to do it.
“When you throw it out, it won’t hurt too much.”
Since painting that jellyfish Ms MacConnell has completed almost 30 pieces.
She hopes the class she teaches is a success because she has tons of ideas for future paint parties.
“The best thing about this is it opens up so many opportunities for creativity.”
Fifteen people have signed up for the paint party.
“Any kind of engagement around art and the creation of art always has positive outcomes,” Ms Zavo said.
The two women want the community to come together and be creative for a night.
“When you’re in the depths of winter it’s nice to think of the nice activities we can do in spring.”
Registration is $22 and this includes supplies. The money raised will go into funding an art gallery opening mid to late-May at the Playhouse.
The gallery will be professionally curated with a collaboration from artist Margaret Wailes whose artwork is displayed at Artisans on Main in Montague.
Ms Zavo said they plan to have numerous shows to give opportunities to many different types of artists.
“The sky is the limit as to how we transform and look into different exhibitions.”
Ms MacConnell hopes that some day her work will be in the gallery and for now she wants to help others build confidence in the field of art.
“It’s exciting to know there is a possibility.”

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