Art brings new energy to Redwood City


Audrey Luey

A girl paints a flower on her canvas.

Audrey Luey , Scot Scoop Editor

The Redwood City Parks and Arts Foundation hosted its monthly Open Paint 2.0 community event, welcoming friends, family, and strangers to the Redwood City Courthouse Square to enjoy an afternoon of outdoor painting.

The Community Advocacy Through Art (CATA) organization presents Open Paint 2.0, with programs including local nonprofits and the artwork of rising high school artists. CATA utilizes street art murals and public art events to unite people and raise awareness about essential community groups and local issues.

We put on this event for free to try and get the community together through art. We also have done murals all over Redwood City that promote different kinds of messages, like education and healthy living for kids,” said Kaitlin Rak, a volunteer. 

At the event, professional artists entertained crowds with their live painting and table displays.

“I enjoy the fact that we’re bringing art to the community and that everyone gets to paint anything that they like. Art should be something that families can do together,” said Maria Lopez, a featured artist. “It brings everybody together, and it doesn’t matter the age or culture. I love the variety of range in ages.”

CATA provided all of the art materials necessary with no cost, including vinyl sheets, brushes of all sizes, and acrylic paint. Canvases were also available for a proposed donation.

“This is my first time attending. We found it online on the Redwood City Downtown website,” said attendee Namrata Balakrishnan. “This event is really relaxing and the day is so nice. We can all sit together and look around at all the artists who we can take inspiration from.”

Large canopies along with decoration banners surrounded the area, with many finished artwork paintings hanging to dry.

“They provide shade and tables, and it’s well organized with neat lines and clear directions,” said Balakrishnan.

There was a large turnout, with many families coming and going at their leisure.

“I think everybody’s having a wonderful time. It’s so perfect and wonderful, and it gets people out and about and off the computers,” said artist Nancy Barry. 

CATA encourages all volunteers, professional artists or not, to help create spaces where artists can be highlighted and financially supported in the Bay Area.

“I love seeing people being able to express themselves and being vulnerable and experimenting together. It’s important for people to know that they can get involved,” said Carrie Kelley, the head event coordinator. “If they have a vision, they can make it happen; the ground is very fertile. It just requires hard work and independence.”