Creating a masterwork of art can be like wandering through a maze: after a lengthy period of reflection and contemplation, you’ll still probably starve. Appreciate the figurative risks and transcendent joys of artistic creativity with today's Groupon: for $189, you get a half-day sculpting workshop at Ben Navaee Gallery (a $480 value) in Leslieville.
Ben Navaee Gallery explores the contemplative nature of contemporary art while raising awareness of social issues through special exhibitions and gallery events. A four-hour workshop schools hand-eye coordination in the mouldable magic of oil-based clay, providing a vehicle for artistic representations of tranquility, angst, or indigestion. Instructors emphasize process, guiding participants through each step and encouraging them to take their knowledge home and continue to hone their crafts. Statue fashioners can form a waste mould in plaster and cast one copy in a chosen material, from bronze to Picasso-flavoured fudge. Take a break from feverish sculpting to gather with fellow neophytes and discuss the beauty of the third dimension over food and wine. Empty display columns and shelves rejoice after students install their completed works and deliver lengthy panegyrics to their stately form.
Ben Navaee Gallery
Ben Navaee Gallery is dedicated to two causes: first, to present and promote local Canadian artists in its gallery space, and second, to raise funds and awareness for philanthropic causes related to poverty, homelessness, and natural disasters. With classes, the gallery aims to educate its visitors, helping them learn about the work of a new artist or teaching them how to paint a heartfelt message onto that artist's car. During each calming session, students leave outside stress behind as they unlock hidden artistic talents with the help of gentle, encouraging instruction. This nurturing environment is an extension of Ben Navaee himself; a veteran painter, sculptor, and photographer, Ben has spent the last 25 years helping students better their lives through art, as well as yoga and meditation.