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Library program lets people show their artistic side


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From left, Greenwood residents Deb Stephens and Ben Roberts and southside Indianapolis residents Garrett O'Sha and Jim Davis draw paper bags during an adult instructional class at the Greenwood Public Library. PHOTO BY RYAN TRARES
From left, Greenwood residents Deb Stephens and Ben Roberts and southside Indianapolis residents Garrett O'Sha and Jim Davis draw paper bags during an adult instructional class at the Greenwood Public Library. PHOTO BY RYAN TRARES

SazaO'Sha's progress on her drawing can be seen in detail. PHOTO BY RYAN TRARES
SazaO'Sha's progress on her drawing can be seen in detail. PHOTO BY RYAN TRARES


With a pencil in hand and paper laid in front of them, Greenwood residents will try to capture images of the community.

They’ll draw children playing games at Craig Park and sparrows flitting through the grass at Freedom Park. They’ll draw churches, schools and the businesses of Old Town.

Some might sketch friends and family.

Local residents are invited to try their hands at drawing a masterpiece and be more artistic this spring. The Greenwood Public Library will host Draw Greenwood, a community art project aiming to capture the essence of life in the city.

Try your hand

What: Draw Greenwood community art project

When: Through June 29

Where: Greenwood Public Library, 310 S. Meridian St.

What: Residents can check out drawing kits from the library so they can draw the people, places and things they see around them. The completed works will hang in the library through July.

Who: Adults and children of any age

Cost: Free

Registration: 881-1953; greenwoodlibrary.us/drawgreenwood.asp

Additional events

Saturday: 1:30 p.m., drawing class for children in kindergarten to fifth grade

Monday: 1 p.m., adult and teen drawing fundamentals class

June 1: 1:30 p.m., drawing class for children in kindergarten to fifth grade

You can draw anything you’d like — family, friends, Greenwood landmarks or whatever captures your attention. The pieces will be on display in the library’s exhibit hall through the end of July.

“I hope it gets them to think about the things they see every day in Greenwood,” reference librarian Sara O’Sha said. “Seeing what everybody comes up with when they come to the show is going to be a great chance to not only show off their own work but see what other people in the community are doing.”

In the library’s main meeting room, a group of eight potential artists focused intently on the subjects laid out in front of them. The paper bags were simple and plain but offered clearly defined lines, shapes and shading that would make it easy for those learning to draw.

Rene Gonzalez, an Indianapolis artist and instructor at Herron School of Art and Design, walked them through the process of breaking down the bag.

The easiest way was to find the shapes inside the initial form — the triangles of folds, rectangles and sides of the bag.

“Look for the most basic shapes you see. You have to look at it in its most barest forms,” he said.

The idea for Draw Greenwood stems from a similar project that has been successful in libraries in New York and Massachusetts. O’Sha was intrigued by the idea of getting people who otherwise had never explored art to put pencil to paper and get creative.

Using library funds, O’Sha purchased supplies to create drawing kits for the project. Each one will have a drawing board inside, so people can draw wherever inspiration strikes them.

Paper, pencils, a pencil sharpener and charcoal are included in the packets, so budding artists have everything they need to start drawing, O’Sha said.

The library has 12 packs each for adults and children to check out. People can take them home for a week, and O’Sha will keep a list so people can take the next kit when one is returned.

“A lot of our patrons enjoy the art classes we offer, and this was an opportunity to expand on that,” she said.

But not everyone who picks up a pencil is going to do Norman Rockwell-like works of art. For those who want to practice their skills or just learn the basics of drawing, area artists will be on hand throughout May for free instruction.

The aim is to let people express themselves without feeling self-conscious that they don’t know how to get started, O’Sha said.

“We always try to have an educational element with our programs. And this is just another way to bring people in the community together who might not otherwise meet each other,” O’Sha said.

Gonzalez and longtime art teacher Lisa Guckelberg will lead one of the adult classes. Erin Weartz, a Greenwood graphic designer and artist, will help with the children’s instruction.

For people who want to learn to draw or refresh the skills they once had, the hourlong classes are an easy way to get started, said Ellen Storvick, a southside resident taking Gonzalez’s class.

“It’s not going to be a contest; you’re not winning anything. It’s just a way to try something new,” she said.

The Draw Greenwood contest started at the beginning of May, and the kits have been constantly checked out. O’Sha hopes that, as school ends and people get involved in other activities at the library this summer, more people will get involved.

“I think people are excited about the opportunity to show off the art that they make and seeing what other people are creating, too,” she said.

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