Under the direction of Debra Tobin of Tobin Studios in Ambridge, participants turned blank canvases into works of art with an Ambridge theme – the landmark gazebo in PJ Caul Park.
“We wanted something that had an Ambridge flair to it,” Tobin said.
Tobin said she painted the gazebo as a silhouette to use as a basic theme for any skill level. However, she said the goal was not to have 20 identical paintings, but to use a variety of acrylic colors and ideas based on their personalities.
“We have some people who are doing a completely different theme. Some people are doing abstracts. The whole idea was just to come, enjoy everybody’s company, relax and have fun.”
Sip and paint parties have grown in popularity, allowing guests to relax and enjoy a drink while channeling their inner Monet or Picasso under the guide of an instructor. Tobin, who is the art director of the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, teaches art classes weekly, including group and private lessons, as well as birthday parties.
“This is the first time we’ve gone out into the community,” she said. “We did this strictly as a fundraiser for the library. It’s something that has been a lot of fun and we’ve enjoyed it.”
Julie Mulcahy, library director, said there was a discussion at the board meeting about having a painting fundraiser. Tobin offered to have a class and had expressed some interest in the fall to do one, she said.
“We worked together to make it a joint effort to help the library and also give her an opportunity to have some space to spread out and have a nice class,”Mulcahy said. “She was very gracious in coming and offering her services.”
Tobin’s husband, Jim, also played songs on the guitar for the crowd.
“They just have so many good, creative talents to share with everyone so it’s good to have them here,” Mulcahy said.
Guests said they enjoyed the event. Kim Villella, who is on the Baden Library board, said they plan to have a similar event for the Baden Library. She said she believes all of the libraries in the Beaver County system could benefit from hosting the event.
Money raised will go toward the boiler fund to replenish the capital budget spent over the summer to repair the library’s aging boiler system.
“We had a very significant cost incurred upon us and we’re trying to replenish that," Mulcahy said.
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