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Arts Focus: Artful Mind — Art Workshops to Sharpen Focus

This column is sponsored by Arlington Arts/Arlington Cultural Affairs, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

Over the centuries, artists throughout the world have developed practices to center themselves and prepare mentally, spiritually and emotionally for making art.

Artful Mind, a series of four workshops (April 1 to 29), will teach you techniques to create a focus that can be helpful in everyday life as well as art-making.

Combining exercises from her art and bookmaking practice, instructor Sushmita Mazumdar will guide students in this lunchtime exploration of mark-making with lines and swirls and playing with various kinds of paper. No experience with art-making is necessary! You can pick one session that catches your fancy or join us for all four sessions. No matter which one you attend, you will leave with techniques to help you find a spot of calm anywhere, anytime.

All classes are held virtually via Zoom, and the schedule is as follows:

Session 1: Line, Lines, Lines (April 1) — Learn how a simple pen or pencil can help you find calm anywhere, anytime.
Supplies: Sketchbook, pencil, marker, color pencils, water-soluble graphite, cup of water

Session 2: Swirls and Puddles (April 15) — Learn how some new and simple tools you find on a walk, in your garden or from around the house can help teach you something new.
Supplies: Sketchbook, twigs and pebbles from your walk or around the house, small bottle of food coloring (any color/s), empty cup, water

Session 3: Fold, Fold, Fold (April 22) — Reading magazines and newspapers can help us relax or make us anxious. Using origami, we can turn them into something that is always fun.
Supplies: Sketchbook, pages torn from magazines, newspaper, scissors, yarn/ribbon

Session 4: Tear, Tear, Tear (April 29) — Let color and texture change your mood and create something new from paper.
Supplies: Handmade paper scrap pack; paper from around the house like grocery bags, wrapping paper, envelopes; stapler

Your instructor, Sushmita Mazumdar, is an Arlington-based artist, writer and educator. She works across stories, book arts and mixed media to explore her memories of home, heritage and migration from India. She mixes into her work present-day places and the community who collaborate, discuss and respond to inform her creations. Sushmita is the founder of Studio PAUSE, a community space for art and stories, and is also a studio arts instructor with the Smithsonian Associates.

Arlington Arts’ Arts Enterprise Institute Spring Classes often fill to capacity. Artists, performers and arts professionals looking to up their game are encouraged to explore the remaining sessions, continuing through May 18, 2021 (all classes are virtual).

Classes are filling up quickly, so sign-up now. Attendees will receive a Zoom link via email after 5 p.m. the day before the event. Visit our Eventbrite page for registration fees and details.

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As two former Peace Corps volunteers who served in Guatemala, we founded Potomac Roasting to pursue our passion for great coffee and purpose-driven work. In addition to ethically sourcing our beans, we also donate a portion of our profits to Laila’s Legacy Animal Rescue, a DC-based nonprofit that finds homes for homeless dogs and cats.

Our current roasts come from prime coffee-producing regions of Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Peru. We will be adding new roasts soon. If you are local, there’s a good chance we can deliver to your door. Look for us at local farmers’ markets beginning this spring. In the meantime, check us out now for better coffee and good karma in a cup. You can use the code Community and save 10%.

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Enjoy the flavors of Nice, Monaco, and St. Tropez in the beautiful and festive Maison Francaise at the French Embassy.

🍽️ On the Menu: Delicious French food

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