Kids brush up on painting skills

DOVER — On a hot day during summer vacation, children crowded into the Uncorked Canvas in downtown Dover to paint ice cream cones.

Thanks to donations from businesses and community members, the children were invited to paint at the business on Loockerman Street Thursday at no cost.

Kristin Stonesifer, who works for the medical device company Medtronic, said she organized the event as part of the company’s celebration of philanthropy month in June.

The company encouraged employees to find a local cause close to their hearts; Ms. Stonesifer said she wanted to organize something that involved children and the arts.

She was inspired after attending an event at the Uncorked Canvas — “You know, that would be so fun for kids,” she said she thought that night.

Ms. Stonesifer said she raised enough money to sponsor 17 children from the community, who were between the ages of 7 and 9, for the painting day.

As the children arrived Thursday, colorful aprons, each one marked with a child’s name, were set out on the table with paintbrushes to take home. Popcorn, cookies and juice were arranged on a nearby table.

Carol Burns, the owner of Uncorked Canvas, walked the children through the steps of painting an ice cream cone.

“Don’t be afraid to paint with your hands,” she reminded them as they wiped teal paint across the blank canvas with a sponge.

“I paint with my fingers a lot.”

While they waited to apply the next layer of paint, Ms. Burns turned up the music and showed them how to dance and shake their canvases dry.

When children grow up painting, she said, through life they’ll find that it’s a great way to de-stress.

Ms. Burns said that she likes to teach them there are no mistakes — only uniqueness.

“Kids’ minds are so creative,” she said.

While she carefully traced her ice cream cone, Lyllian Armour said that she liked to paint because “you can make anything you want.”

“I’m going to put it on my bookshelf,” said Finnegan Riley as he proudly worked on his painting.

With their palette of colors — including purple, yellow and hot pink — they artfully swirled colors on the canvas.

“It kind of looks a little bit tasty,” said Sophia Torres, as she painted the first scoop of ice cream.

Many of the sponsors of the event came to the Uncorked Canvas to help on Thursday, Ms. Stonesifer said.

Friends and businesses who sponsored the day with small donations included: Dominique Picott, the Vadakins, the Kramedas, the Halperns, Bel Boutique, Brenford Animal Hospital, Delaware Heart and Vascular, Fifer Orchards, Home 2 Suites by Hilton, The Moving Experience, Signature Stitches, Tents and Events and Uncorked Canvas.

The Uncorked Canvas, on 125 West Loockerman St. in Dover, offers painting classes and private parties.

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