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City adds color to park with painting events

By: Eric Czarnik | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published May 24, 2016

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The city of Sterling Heights is hoping for a picture-perfect beginning to its upcoming activities in Dodge Park with the introduction of the new Art in the Park series.

The city, in conjunction with Painting Sensations in Shelby Township, will hold Art in the Park painting sessions at 6 p.m. one Thursday a month — June 9, July 14, Aug. 11 and Sept. 8. The painting events will overlap with the Dodge Park Farmers Market, as well as the Music in the Park concert series.

According to city officials, the painters will gather at the Dodge Park Pavilion, and participants should expect to allot two hours toward developing their artistic creations. A painter must pay $25 per session.

Larisa Peysin, owner and artist at Painting Sensations, said her business hosts painting parties. She said she expects a crowd of as many as 60 people per Art in the Park event.

She said artists will show participants step by step how to use brushes and other tools to create the paintings. While everyone will be encouraged to paint the same subject — such as a landscape or flowers — the painters will be encouraged to personalize their designs.

“We always want people to explore their creativity, maybe use a little different colors. Especially with the summer colors, you can go to town,” she said. “You can have a lot of fun. … I never see two of the same paintings.”

Sterling Heights Community Relations Director Bridget Doyle said the Art in the Park idea came from the city’s Arts Commission and its efforts to expand the city’s involvement with public art.

“We feel it falls in line with not only bringing energy to Dodge Park in the summer, but also getting that art exposure to our residents,” she said.

Doyle said Arts Commission Chair Jeanne Schabath shared the idea with her and Management Services Specialist Karen Kazmer. The painting events will be open to people of all levels of artistic ability, Doyle said.

“It’s going to be fun,” she said. “It’s not a serious painting class, although professional and experienced painters are welcome.”

Last year, the city invited the Detroit Institute of Arts to set up an interactive art trailer exhibit at Dodge Park during a farmers market day, and visitors could see depictions of artwork. Doyle said the city is working on possibly bringing DIA programming back to the park — perhaps in the fall — but nothing is officially scheduled yet.

Doyle also said she plans to present a followup presentation about public art opportunities in the city that align with the city’s 2030 Visioning plan. That presentation could happen in late summer or early fall, and it could offer more substance on how to bring public art to the city, she explained.

Art in the Park will take place at 6 p.m. June 9, July 14, Aug. 11 and Sept. 8 at Dodge Park, 40620 Utica Road in Sterling Heights. To learn more about Sterling Heights park activities, visit www.myshpr.net or call (586) 446-2700.

Learn more about Painting Sensations in Shelby Township by visiting www.paintingsensations.com or by calling (586) 580-3968.

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