Paint in the Woods

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Paint in the Woods

Courtesy of Erin Shannon '19

Courtesy of Erin Shannon '19

Courtesy of Erin Shannon '19

Claire Arriaga, Campus Reporter

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During the first and last two weeks of this upcoming summer, the Kent campus will host fifteen high school students (not exclusive to Kent attendees) who will embark upon an artistic journey called Paint in the Woods. A one-week option will also be available.

“You don’t need to be a painter,” says Mr. Ober. With thirteen years of experience in the art world, Ober’s developed a concern “about how creativity gets a bad rep in academia,” so he spent the past year creating a solution.

Their time will be spent not only painting and creating art, but also viewing, talking about, and appreciating it. A significant aspect of the program is digging into artists: Picasso, Joan Mitchell, and Van Gogh are in the immediate line-up to be discussed through conversation, film, and written word.

Indeed, it is a unique program that seeks to create a “deep connection with art and New York.” The students will be able to travel to New York City once per week to see galleries, auction houses, museums, and artists.

With an intention to provide “real opportunities” to “distinguish themselves,” Ober has planned meetings with his successful past art students, and developed connections with Christies and Sothebys, so that the team may gain access to “powerful players of the art world.”

Above all what makes Paint in the Woods so extraordinary is the passion encompassing it.
“I’m interested in the relationship between creativity and invitation,” says Ober. He values the artists’ inner child, and the ability painting has to “liberate.”

(Note to parents and fearful students: the program, despite its name, doesn’t actually involve spending extended time in the woods, so don’t worry about retaining a tick disease.)

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