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Kingston's DRAW-A-THON offers a cool, creative respite from the summer heat – Daily Freeman

KINGSTON, NY — A family got creative on Saturday at the Regional Arts Workers’ Authority’s Energy Square.

Families flocked to DRAW’s air-conditioned storefront space to escape the scorching heat of the 1990s, participate in art projects, and take home crayons or a free emergency drawing kit to draw anything. I stepped in.

“It’s stable all day long and everyone is drawing and having fun,” says DRAW founder and former Kingston High School teacher Lara Giordano.

All the walls are made of paper for people to pick up and paint, put together a collage from the collage station, paint from recycled newspapers, or stock the pink refrigerator with food drawings. It was covered.

Even the windows were open canvases with images such as airplanes and bees.

Yet another station displayed a simulated tree stump promoting an idea for a project in an Easter egg.

In one corner was the DRAW-A-TRON drafting machine created by Kaya Keller, a fine arts student at SUNY New Paltz and a high school graduate from Kingston. The machine offered monsters, animals, objects, and “random” pictures at the push of a button, and the images spat out of slots.

“We built it in about three months,” says Keller.

At another station, Dezha King from Kingston, who works as an assistant teacher in a regular class at DRAW, was making wire drawings.

“I love to paint, but to be honest, there are a lot of things I’ve never done,” she said.

Alyssa Gugutlis of Kingston was helping her nephew Dexter Hayett, 5, with watercolors. She teaches children from her 3rd grade through her 5th grade in her DRAW Saturday class. “We work with different art methods, different mediums, different practices,” she said.

One of DRAW’s artists and teachers, Jocelyn Bergen, was working with Maxine Leu at the Paper Art Station. Bergen specializes in paper art and bookbinding, and from one sheet of paper she was showing visitors how to make a small book of eight pages.

“I love supporting the community,” she said.

Leu said he loves helping out with eco-friendly print and sculpture projects during open studio sessions.

“I like picking up trash and making things,” she said.