Talented artists to lead art workshop for local youth at Variety Boys and Girls Club

Natalia Zamparini is one of the five artists that will teach children about acrylic painting

Natalia Zamparini is one of the five artists that will teach children about acrylic painting

Claudia Marulanda, the Briarwood artist who paints boldly-colored portraits that empower women, is now behind the newest workshop at Variety Boys and Girls Club of Queens.

The Young Creators Art Workshop will be held on Saturday, March 19 at 11:30 a.m. at the club, located at 21-12 30th Road in Long Island City. The event will be a visual art workshop to help kids, aged 7 to 11 years old, express themselves.

Accompanying Marulanda will be five professional artists whose works cover numerous forms, from sculpture-making to designing henna. Together, they plan to teach the children about themes, such as courage and integrity, and theme application. The goal is to inspire kids to think creatively and to remind them that they are creators.

Using creativity is what led Sculptor Frank Somma to initiate a 40-foot tall interactive piece that people could go into at the Burning Man festival next summer.

His interest in art originally took him to the Florence Academy of Art in Florence, Italy, for four years. After graduating, he spent the next four years working on solo projects and collaborative efforts with other artists in the country. Somma’s work is currently based on realistic but slightly surreal themes.

“My work is going in a new direction where I’m not just going much larger, but I’m working with different materials and collaborating with different artists,” Somma said. “I’m integrating more light and sound and I’m creating immersive installation periods.”

In fact, Somma plans on showing his progression of works to have the kids explore the idea of “finding the light within.”

“What I’m doing now in my career is very emblematic of what the workshop for the kids is all about,” Somma said. “The new piece has light bursting out of the chest like a lighthouse and it’s all about discovery, self-love and personal transformation.”

Matt Cauley, a portrait and figure painter, plans to focus the kids on technique.

“Right now, I’m leaning towards teaching the kids how to work with acrylics because it’s a pretty forgiving medium,” Cauley said. “With anyone who is new to painting, their colors can get muddy pretty quickly, so I’ll try to show them how to keep the paintings clean and vibrant.”

Cauley, who also has experience in illustration and toy design, will teach the kids the basics of acrylic such as color mixing. When it comes to subject matter and imagination, Cauley is excited to see what the kids will come up with because they have a “fearlessness” that adults lack in art.

“If you look at the artwork of a young kid, they take the crayons and don’t even think about it, they just have fun,” he said. “When you start overthinking it, you start to get concerned with what it’s supposed to look like and that could really kill a piece. It’s all about having fun.”

“In a way it’s all about believing in yourself; if you believe in what you have to say, and you could believe in the marks that your putting on the canvas, that’s you that you are putting out there,” he added.

Self-taught in the art of henna, Natalia Zamparini is considering combining henna and painting for the workshop. Like Cauley, she wants the students to learn about the various styles and application methods. However, incorporating henna paint with the acrylic paint will add to its uniqueness.

“We’re in an age where children are not exploring creativity, so it’s our duty as artists to help pay that forward and keep the movement going,” she said.

To register for the event, visit here or www.vbgcq.org and RSVP at Weekends @ The Club.

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