Grosse Pointe Art Association hopes to offer people an escape from the stress of this year

COVID-19 pandemic has led to people feeling stressed

GROSSE POINTE, Mich. – This year has been wild, and it might have taken a toll on you emotionally, mentally and even financially. Many people are looking for an escape, and one place is working to offer relief.

“Everyone’s very important and I want to reach out and let them know how important they are,” Karen Pope said.

Pope said she is working to provide a safe place for anyone who wants to escape this difficult year and enjoy works of art.

The goal of the Grosse Pointe Art Center is to encourage kindness, respect and equality while bringing people together through art.

“That’s what we’re about,” Pope said. “We want to reach out to everyone who wants to join us.”

The art center is housed inside the Grosse Pointe War Memorial on Jefferson Avenue. Inside there are socially conscious art pieces, like photographs of the Black Lives Matter rallies

Another work of art on a canvas depicts the word “united” spelled out in sign language featuring the hands of people of different races. Other pieces show an artist’s interpretation of the coronavirus plaguing the world we live in.

But the center offers more than just beautiful works of art.

“We offer classes and with some pretty renowned teachers and we also have some teachers that work with you no matter what you’re skill level so you can get better. We have exhibitions which is important for people to show off their art,” Pope said.

The classes are open to everyone for a fee, but the artwork is free for everyone to come and enjoy. Pope has worked as the head of the nonprofit for the last four years.

“I wasn’t really aware of how much ... I’m not an artist, but I didn’t quite understand how much art could mean in people’s lives and also in the community,” she said. “I think it has enriched my life greatly so there’s the inspirational part.”

She said she’s watched the way art has helped education others and invite people to think. She said for her, that’s priceless.

“We’re here to help people. These are difficult times and art is a wonderful way to cope with them. I know there a lot of people who are down in the dumps. We’re here to help them work through these difficult times," she said.

The Grosse Pointe Art Center is working on a virtual way for people to take in the artwork and classes. That’s still to come. If you’d like to stop by and see more of what they have to offer, please click here.

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