Looking for a fun way to connect with like-minded people could be top of mind, especially as winter drags on here in Prince George.
A great way to connect safely is while exploring a new art form or revisiting one that's been put away for a while.
The Two Rivers Gallery offers a variety of art classes through small in-person COVID-protocol experiences or online.
These classes offer opportunities that explore Sassy Cross Stitch, Acrylic Paint Pour, Laser Engraved Books, Soap Mold Making, Self-Directed Life Drawing and Winter Wonderland with Wendy Framst, which is a water colour painting class.
Anna-Maria Lawrie, art heals coordinator and public programmer, teaches the Sassy Cross Stitch online and said it's a lot of fun. An example of a sassy cross stitch is an image of a llama with the caption "spit happens' above his head.
There's been a recent resurgence towards needlecrafts like cross stitch, quilting, knitting and crocheting and so this fits nicely into that wheelhouse.
"In the Sassy Cross Stitch class, it takes a while to do these things so we offer the fundamentals to get everyone started and then they take it away and do more," Lawrie said.
She's taught cross stitching before but that was in person. This time it's an online experience and she's got her head wrapped around how she's going to do that through a virtual platform.
Lawrie will go over how to start the sassy project, things to be aware of when doing exes and rows, and how to choose a start point.
Lawrie will provide a pattern for the class that will come in a kit participants can pick up about a week before the class, but everyone has the option to choose their own project, too.
As the lesson progresses Lawrie will provide advice if anyone gets stumped, offering a plan of approach and during the last half hour of the class she'll offer guidance on how to complete their artwork.
For these classes, many people get their friends in on the fun or use these as refreshers, Lawrie added.
Some of the classes must be done in person because of the specialized equipment used at Two Rivers Gallery.
For the Acrylic Paint Pour, each participant gets a small cup into which small amounts of a variety of colours of paint are layered that includes a special sauce. The artists are instructed on how to get the paint and canvas to meet and the magic happens. he result is a marble, swirly effect.
"The piece eventually settles in to this glorious, colourful - I don't know how to explain it - but I could do hundreds of those," Lawrie said. "They are really, really fun to make and the instructors use different techniques."
That way each participant can achieve his or her own unique work of art.
"I highly recommend this class," Lawrie said. "It's a lovely few hours of fun."
For the Laser Engraved Books class, there is a specialized digital laser engraver that is able to cut through materials or etch into materials. For this class, people will have a design they create etched into a notebook cover. The design is scanned into a computer that is connected to the laser that transfers the image onto the notebook cover.
"These types of classes are a good way to find out if you like something before you rush out to buy all the supplies," Lawrie said.
Class number is set to eight so to that everyone can remain six feet apart in the space and each person has their own bucket of supplies to keep everyone safe while they're having fun.
The Two Rivers has classes for all ages. For more information and to register visit www.tworiversgallery.ca.