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Exploring the power of art

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Studio MPK is encouraging the creative arts in Paso Robles by offering classes for families, teens, and kids, as well as an open studio. Registration for classes is ongoing and everyone is welcome, provided there’s enough space.

OPEN FOR ALL :  Erin Kenepp, co-owner of Studio MPK, holds weekly workshops and open studio hours for the community of Paso Robles to stop by and take part in the creative arts. - PHOTO BY STEVE MILLER
  • PHOTO BY STEVE MILLER
  • OPEN FOR ALL : Erin Kenepp, co-owner of Studio MPK, holds weekly workshops and open studio hours for the community of Paso Robles to stop by and take part in the creative arts.

Erin Kenepp and her husband Michael P. Kenepp opened Studio MPK in February to enable Michael to run his wedding photography business and Erin to open an art studio for the community. Erin’s studio is open for anyone to continue working on a personal piece or attend a workshop.

“This studio is a place to learn and grow as a person while doing art,” Erin said. “The mission of our studio is to inspire and encourage the creative arts for personal reflection and creative play.”

Erin, who is a nationally registered art therapist, wanted to take her skills as a therapist and apply them locally. Studio MPK isn’t where people come for therapy, but it is where someone can come and use art as a healing tool.

“An art therapist is more for support. Here we want to foster creativity in people and have them find their own path,” Erin explained.

Focusing more on community development than therapy, Erin welcomes community members of all ages to Studio MPK, which offers a wide range of classes for children, teens, and adults on Saturdays and Sundays.

Families can work together on a project, or teens can come during the teen workshop and socialize with others while working on a personal project.

“It’s a good way for teens to interact with each other and socialize, which is a big thing with teenagers,” Erin said. “It is a comfortable place with Internet, couches, and art supplies.”

Though Studio MPK focuses more on physical art, it’s also open for people to work on their own digital artwork, Erin said. The space holds computers and software for people interested in working with digital media.

One of the most popular classes offered at Studio MPK is Erin’s Art Journals and Altered Books Workshop, where she teaches how to combine old journals and books into pieces of art.

“It’s a way of bringing life to a book by using art,” she said. “The techniques I teach are image transferring, silk background, and collages.”

Similar techniques were used in Erin’s personal project “Becoming Brave,” where she made a book that focuses on becoming fearless in four different areas of her life: body, love, work, and life.

Erin wants to create a Becoming Brave workshop for her summer schedule so students can choose a section they want to become fearless in and create a journal entry. In the end, Erin wants to compile all entries into a book.

Studio MPK—located at 603 12th St. in Paso—will be having its open house celebration on June 3 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“I am welcoming all local artists to bring in their arts and crafts, sculptures, and whatever they are working on, to be a part of the studio and gallery for open house,” Erin said.

She’s also renting out the studio to anyone who needs it for a group event, music concert, or any other community need.

For more information on Studio MPK and the workshops offered, visit studiompk.com.

Fast fact

The Caroline Huetter Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to Central Coast youth, is currently accepting nominations for its annual Caroline Huetter Award. The award is for young adults, ages 18 to 25, in Monterey, San Luis Obispo, or Santa Barbara counties, who are active within the community by demonstrating their care and support for others. The winner of the Caroline Huetter Award will receive $1,000. Nominations can be made at thecarolinehuetterfoundation.org.

New Times intern David Yriarte compiled this week’s Strokes and plugs. Send items for consideration to strokes@newtimesslo.com.

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