Jozart: Wine & Line is different kind of art experience

Wine & Line Participants at Jozart Center for the Arts

Wine & Line Participants at Jozart Center for the Arts

Most everyone’s heard the phrase wine and dine. Now there’s wine and line.

Since September 2012, a group of people have been meeting at 6:30 p.m. the third Tuesday of each month, snacks and hors d’oeuvres and bottle of wine in hand, to put their creative juices to work. The site – Jozart Center for the Arts in California. The goal – to create a painting, have fun and get excited about art.

“Everyone brings along a bottle of wine [or other drink] and a snack to share,” said Cheryl Lewis of Roscoe, Jozart board member and class facilitator. “Some people just bring water, but beer and cocktails are also permitted. Snacks can be as simple as chips or as complicated as fancy hors d’oeuvres. In fact we give prizes such as a quality brush, a painting kit or a wine bag to those who bring in the most creatively presented hors d’oeuvres.”

A Wine & Line Tray of Snacks

A Wine & Line Tray of Snacks

Joyce Gazdick of Stockdale leads the class that involves painting acrylics on stretched canvas. Born in Selma, Alabama but raised in Birmingham, Gazdick is a practicing artist with an art degree from California University of Pennsylvania and an art education degree from Washington and Jefferson College.

“Our instructor brings in a painting of her own finished prior to class, and the participants follow her instructions to reproduce her work,” Lewis said. “She does encourage the participants to be creative by using different colors and techniques, even a different subject. For those who’ve never before painted, she guides them through the process, and, at the end of the evening, everyone has a painting of their own to take home.”

The sessions have been averaging about 16 participants but have varied from a low of 12 to a high of 30.

“I like to limit the class size at around 20 because I like one-on-one relationships,” Gazdick said. “You need that when you first start painting.”

The sessions draw people of all ages, 21 years and older. Most of the participants are women, although three of the members who came to last month’s session were men. Some have been with the group since day one; others come and go, and new members show up at almost every session.

The class costs $22, which includes the paint, the canvas and brushes as well as wine glasses, wine openers, plates and utensils. To insure there’s enough supplies and seating space available, participants must register before each class by phoning 724-938-9730 or 724-938-8398. Slots may also be reserved by email via the Center’s web site at www.jozart.com.

Wine & Line Participants at Jozart Center for the Arts

Wine & Line Participants at Jozart Center for the Arts

“What distinguishes Wine and Line from others cropping up in the area is that ours is the least expensive,” Lewis said. “”Some charge as much as $30 to $45 a session.”

After notifying several people about the class, membership grew simply by word of mouth. Already people have asked about starting a similar series for those under the age of 21, and organizers have suggested the class title of “Pop, Popcorn and Paint.”

“We’d also like to organize another class for more serious artists that would concentrate on technique,” Lewis said.

In addition to teaching at Jozart, Gazdick also leads a class at the Center in the Woods on Route 88 near California. The class focuses primarily on oil painting and meets on Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to noon. The cost is $5.

“One nice thing about the Wine and Line class is that you can come only once, and, if you like it, return as often as you want,” Gazdick added. “If you miss a class while on vacation or whatnot, you can start right back in. Every class is another new painting and another new beginning.”
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Story by Dave Zuchowski for Pennsylvania Bridges

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