Pop Art: Uncorked at the Canton Museum of Art.

By Judi Christy

The idea of a paint and sip party is not new. Through a few Google clicks, I found evidence of one such idea in 2005, started by a 30-something and her stay-at-home mom friends who decided that Pino Grigio was a nice accompaniment to talking about Pampers and putting paint on a brush. Apparently tired of story hours and make-n-takes involving glue sticks and glitter, the Moms wanted their own way to release creative juices, not packaged with a bendable straw.

Sure, they could attend a book club and probably did. But, the paint and sip party was so much more fun, with no reading, experience or fibs about actually “getting” the plot line, required. In fact, you didn’t even have to talk (as if that was actually going to happen).

So, the paint and sips gained appeal. They popped up in neighbor’s homes, restaurant backrooms, church basements, and when you were really lucky – the local art museum.
Enter: The Canton Museum of Art.

No stranger to art education classes for adults and children, the Canton Museum of Art (CMA) jumped on the trend a tad bit before it actually got trendy. I actually attended one of these early sessions, couched as a Girls Night Out, about three years ago. It was just one of those things that I did with some co-workers, to stick around in Canton after the street lights came on – and of course, to support the arts.

It was fun.

So, I came back to the CMA two additional times, with other buddies and a thirst for doing something fun on a Tuesday night. By now, the title of the CMA’s programs was, “Uncorked,” – a creative play on the verb that means to “release from constraint,” something that is more easily accomplished, for some, with a plastic cup of chardonnay.

The program was a hit at the Museum. On the sessions that I attended, every seat was full and they never had enough pretzels – but never mind, my hands were busy mixing colors and dabbing and dotting, under the instructional eye of Erica Emerson, the Education Manager. Miss Emerson, who I want to say has the “patience of Job” – even though I never did look up the scripture passage to see what this actually means – is very calm. Maybe it’s because of the cabernet, but I give her more credit than that. She’s just nice. She is also very talented and very methodical, as she explains and demonstrates various techniques and outcomes that the class members may choose to use or simply ignore.

I’m somewhere in the middle on these things. I realize that the teacher has way more knowledge than I do, but I don’t want to paint by numbers (note – I don’t literally mean that this is a paint by numbers exercise, but that some people in the Uncorked sessions actually follow the teacher, step by step, so their work looks exactly like the example.). Not me.

I get the gist of the technique and the mood of the master. Then I sort of play. Oh, and I drink wine. But surprisingly, I don’t do much talking. I’m sort of in my own head, riding a wave, or wading through water lilies pads or picking flowers in a garden. And I’m truly relaxed – probably for the only time that week, or even that month.
I assure you that the two hours and two glasses of wine go down easy. It’s money ($35) and time well spent.

And, the good news is that you don’t have to be a drinker (pop and bottled water is available) or more importantly, an artist. The image you create is yours — not Van Gogh’s, Matisse’s, Klimt’s or the lady’s in the front row who you swear has taken “real” painting lessons before.

Who cares? At Uncorked, there’s no test, no worries and certainly no “best of show” ribbon to be awarded. And, even if you don’t leave with a masterpiece that matches your couch, I guarantee that your drive home will be so much more colorful.

The next Uncorked at the Canton Museum of Art is Tuesday, December 15 @ 6 p.m. The muse? Van Gogh’s “Almond Branches.” Register today @ https://www.eventbrite.com/e/van-gogh-almond-branches-painting-event-canton-museum-of-art-tickets-17918971125