Fostering romance with art


File Photo/The Lion's Roar

Kendall Alvis, an instructor at Painting with a Twist, teaches a class on painting a mermaid and a beach scene. Along with the Hammond Regional Arts Center and the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts, Painting with a Twist is a venue in Hammond that can mingle romance and art.

For an aura of romance and creativity, couples can find venues like the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts, Painting with a Twist and the Hammond Regional Arts Center, all located in downtown Hammond, as a way to express their feelings through art.

Roy Blackwood, executive director of the Columbia Theatre, described how the arts are fundamental and can create an atmosphere of romance.

“The history of the human condition is inspired by and recorded in art,” shared Blackwood. “Romance occurs in the most conducive and in the most unlikely scenarios. Typically, when a couple is romantically involved, anything seems possible. Certainly, feelings of love support the propensity to let one’s imagination soar. This is also what happens in art. We love the feeling of being in love just as we love the feelings generated when experiencing art that we love.”

According to Blackwood, the Columbia Theatre can be a place of unforgettable experiences.

“Columbia Theatre was once a movie palace,” explained Blackwood. “Many are the people who have told me their stories of enjoying a date at the theatre and sharing a movie such as ‘Gone with the Wind,’ a play such as ‘Hamlet,’ or musical event such as the symphony. In contemporary times as well, people share experiences here at the Columbia Theatre that lead to romance. Art connects culture and makes it human. To be human, is to fall in love. The Columbia Theatre is the venue in this region where that happens.”

Marilyn Kennedy, studio manager at Painting with a Twist, said the studio has an atmosphere of creativity and romance, which has prompted some marriage proposals.

“We have seen many romantic dates and even many have proposed here in Hammond at our studio, and that is because when you come into our studio, creativity begins to flow,” shared Kennedy. “The magic of art is all around them. This makes for a creative and romantic moment for two that are in love.”

Kennedy described how art can express an individual’s story.

“When we create art, it is sharing the love in our hearts and a small portion of our story with another,” stated Kennedy. “We offer a platform, here at Painting with a Twist, to make those special moments that will create another extraordinary page in people’s lives.”

Tara Bennett, media coordinator for HRAC, believes the gallery also fosters love.

“Not to sound biased, but I think HRAC can serve as a great place for romance,” said Bennett. “Galleries and museums encourage excellent conversation and are great places to explore and learn. Nothing sparks a conversation like stopping in front of a piece of artwork and asking, ‘What do you think this means?’”

For Kennedy, the arts encompass love in all forms.

“It’s all about love,” mused Kennedy. “Art is something that creates a picture and becomes a part of our own beautiful love story.”