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Painting for a Good Cause

Paint, Palettes, and Pinot Night at the Sketchbook Studio in Patchogue provided an artistic experience for members of the community and local educators to learn something new, have fun, and fundraise for SkillsUSA, an organization that partners students, teachers, and industry to work together to ensure America has a skilled workforce.

Meg Healy readies the studio for the fundraising event.  

Meg Healy, program director, teaching artist, and owner of Sketchbook Studio, offered her studio for a fundraiser as an alternate way of raising money. In addition to owning Sketchbook Studio, Ms. Healy is a special education aide at Eastern Suffolk BOCES (ESBOCES) in the Horticulture Program at Islip Career Center. The center serves students with disabilities from ESBOCES component school districts. The students learn technical and academic skills that prepare them for future careers and employment. SkillsUSA encourages all individuals to be involved and embraces inclusion and diversity. The organization offers student competitions at the regional, state, and national level.

“The studio is a venue that provides social interaction and the relaxed atmosphere nurtures artistic expression.” Her website offering Paint, Palettes & Pinot, a fundraiser geared toward ESBOCES staff, drew the attention of community members.

A budding artist adds final touches to her canvas.   Angela enhances her artwork with final splashes of paint.

 ‘No painting experience necessary’ says Ms. Healy. “I supply the materials, acrylic paint, canvas, brushes, and a smock. Step by step instruction is provided so each person can create their own unique piece of art.”

Dawn enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere.   Lynn sat beside her friend Marge. They talked and painted together. Nick created his own unique autumnal work of art.

The programs at the studio are inclusive on many levels. Inclusive in the sense that everyone at every level of artistic ability is welcome to attend. More importantly, Healy is an approved provider and participates in the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD), Consolidated Supports and Services (CSS) model. She specializes in working with children and adults with unique challenges, especially those students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).

Marge enjoyed the evening and the painting experience.  

Marge Coffey, a community member from East Patchogue who attended, said, “It was a perfect venue. Everything was included; we just brought our own refreshments.” Ms. Coffey is the executive director/owner of South Shore Home Health Services in Oakdale. “I don’t consider myself an artist,” said Coffey, “but I really enjoyed the evening. I met some new people, the event was for a good cause, and I came away with a painting that I really am proud of.”

Donations raised at the Paint, Palettes & Pinot fundraising event covered the cost of SkillsUSA  jackets for several students at Islip Career Center.