Next Wednesday, the Gibby Center will unveil its latest public offering: a class that combines their art instruction with participants' favorite bottles of wine.
The brainchild of the class is the center's newest employee, Hudson Contemporary Gallery Co-Director Carole Huber, who said that "Cork and Canvas" doesn't require any talent or previous experience. It doesn't even require a lengthy supply list.
"We're going to take care of all the paint and the canvases," Huber said. "People should just bring their favorite bottle of wine. We even have corkscrews."
Huber will also lead the class, which will offer participants three easy options of a simple painting, walking people through the steps for a work of art that is representational, cubist or fauvist.
"Each of these approaches is simple," Huber said. "But, they give people a choice. I'm already looking forward to the end of the class when we all get a glimpse of how other people see things and create things. I think that's fun."
The paint-and-sip class model, which has been gaining popularity nationwide, usually starts with either a paint-by-numbers or start-from-scratch approach. Huber said that the subject of next week's class is so simple—two bottles and a bowl on a counter—that her students will not need a pre-traced example.
"I will help and instruct as much as I can but I want people to feel that their work is their own," Huber said. "That's why I picked the approaches that I did. There's room for the kind of error that creates art."
Huber added that her hope is that the Middletown community sees how fun and inclusive their art center is, saying that she thinks of these classes like the karaoke of painting.
"You get to have a couple of drinks and do something you might not normally do," Huber explained. "Like karaoke, not everybody is going to hit every note when they sing. The fun of it is that it's not perfect."
The cost of the class is $25 and will last approximately two hours. At the end of the class, students will be able to take home their finished 9-inch by 12-inch products. Advance registration is required, though, so that Huber can ensure that enough materials will be available. Two more classes, featuring different paintings, have also been scheduled for October and November.
"I just want people to see that art doesn't have to be intimidating and that anybody can do it," Huber said. "I really think everyone will walk away happy with what they've created."