District Art Gallery is on a mission to make art more accessible | visual arts

QUINCY — Kevin Hoing led a class of a dozen students Friday night at the Kroc Center in Quincy, teaching the basics of creating a poured acrylic painting.

Hoing is the founder of the District Art Gallery, with the aim of helping not only those who want to learn how to make art, but also those who want to share and teach their own style.

“It’s important to find a way to help artists grow,” Hoing said. “It can be scary for an artist trying to figure out how to grow as a creator and get into the art community. If you think about it, a bad art teacher telling someone they’re doing Wrong art can ruin a person’s passion.”

Hoing said he started painting while recovering from a traumatic brain injury about three years ago. After picking up his kids’ art supplies, he just found the colors coming out of him on the page and the canvas. When he showed one of his pieces to a stranger, he took his words to heart.

“She told me ‘if you can do stuff like that, you should paint every day.’ So that’s what I’ve been doing for the last three years,” he said. Although Hoing said he lost count, he created over 1,300 pieces during this time, selling them to customers nationwide.

Hoing opened his own gallery in downtown Quincy, where he said he would ask other artists to come see him and not just ask him about a specific painting, but about how he opened up space and advice on their own work. This inspired him to open the District Art Gallery and Learning Center at 901 Maine St. in Quincy.

“That was the goal to open up that space,” he said. “to give artists a place to display their work, but also to give them a place where they can teach others. Quincy’s arts community, sometimes it’s hard to get into. There’s the Art Center, and Arts Quincy of course, and they’re great organizations, but just getting your foot in the door can be a challenge.”

Hoing has partnered with various groups around Quincy to offer classes like acrylic casting at the Salvation Army’s Kroc Center. The Friday class was the first of two painting classes scheduled. It is also planning two more traditional-style acrylic painting courses.

In addition to painting projects, the District Art Gallery also offers courses in creating mosaic art, making steampunk objects, and metalwork. Hoing said he hopes this is just the start of the classes he can hold at the center.

“All art forms should be embraced,” he said. “Nothing is more annoying than hearing someone say ‘that’s not art’.”

For more information on available classes or for those interested in teaching classes at the Gallery, visit thedistrictartgallery.net.

About Margaret L. Portillo

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