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RMB Premiere Event: Art Inside Me

Reno Moms Blog is thrilled to host an exclusive event with Art Inside Me on Sunday, November 9 from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM (PST) at Swill Coffee & Wine.  We invite you to come alone or to come with your child to have a transformative creative experience.


Sharon DeMattia, Founder of Art Inside Me.  Photo Credit: Ashley Hennefer, Reno News and Review
Sharon DeMattia, Founder of Art Inside Me. Photo Credit: Ashley Hennefer, Reno News and Review

Art Inside Me founder Sharon DeMattia believes that delving into the nitty gritty of identity starts with a blank canvas. And that’s what the Art Inside Me, which DeMattia is registering as a non-profit, seeks to accomplish.

How it works: Participants in an Art Inside Me event receive a large canvas, on which a simple outline of a head and shoulder is sketched (by DeMattia herself, who draws all of the outlines by hand). On the right side of the chest, a red heart is drawn, so that when the artist holds up their canvas to show another person, the heart is right in front of their own. Artists are given colored markers and can fill in their canvas the best way they see fit, emphasizing their strengths, weaknesses, hopes and fears. DeMattia will begin an event by walking artists through the process, but essentially, anything goes. Some choose to write words in decorative typography, while others focus on color and imagery. It’s an activity that borders on art therapy, but is much more about “self-expression,” says DeMattia.

The image of a blank piece of paper with an outline waiting to be filled in is effective and powerful.

“Even just looking at it, you know where to begin,” she says. “Most people’s question throughout life is, ’Where do I start?’”

The concept for Art Inside Me began in Dec. 2012. After a period of hardship—a divorce and a lay-off from her job—DeMattia realized that she needed to keep herself in check with her lifelong goals. She has two young sons and found herself tackling financial and emotional stress. DeMattia is a researcher by trade, and delved into the data that explored why people grow up to feel unsatisfied, anxious and insecure. From here, she realized that there was plenty of evidence to support an endeavor that she eventually could turn into her livelihood.

She cites publications like Forbes and Harvard Business Review. “These organizations say that creativity is the number one job skill for the future. Adults often say they aren’t creative. But if you give a kid a marker, they don’t think like that. So I want to try to protect that if it’s not gone yet.”

DeMattia has conducted Art Inside Me workshops, some more structured than others, with several demographics—adult men, adult women, teens and children. She says that adult men are often the hardest to open up but eventually find value in the project. She loves working with children because she can help preserve that sense of potential that’s often pushed aside when kids grow up.

She’s also used the project as a self-reflection activity for those dealing with difficult life circumstances, including the homeless people near the Truckee River, who were very receptive to the activity and enjoyed the chance to open up and share their life stories.

“We brought them food, coffee and doughnuts,” she says. “Everyone just wants to be heard. Everyone just wants to love and belong.”

DeMattia has also worked with pregnant youth at Casa de Vida and breast cancer survivors, as well as local elementary schools. The most effective part of the process, she says, is when each person shares their portrait. Participants are instructed to exchange their portrait with another person, and must trust that person to take care of it. The image becomes personified, and she notes that people become protective over their own and are more careful with others. She also photographs people with their portraits but purposely hides their face to let their art speak for itself.

“[The portraits] unlock hidden conversations,” she says. “You allow yourself to be imperfect. It’s a beautiful way to get unstuck.”

Source:  Adapted from the original article written by Ashley Hennefer and published by the Reno News and Review.

artinsidemeAbout The Event:

Come alone to mingle with other moms or come with your child – this is your opportunity to gain access to insight into yourself and your child during a unique and beautiful experience.

You will receive the materials and guidance you need to create your own masterpiece representing who YOU are and what defines your relationships and interactions within the world.

 “I know that my son would never have sat down and told me he thought he was a wimp; but he told his canvas and then we started conversations about strength. His ART was a beautiful gift, and I wonder…what would “wimp” have looked like in 10, 20 or 30 years? What if I NEVER knew?”

Have you ever wondered what your child really thinks about him/herself? They sit in the car and tell your there day was “fine”…but do you feel confident that it was?” – Sharon DeMattia, Founder ART Inside Me

We will have separate spaces for adults and kids so that grown ups can sit at one table with a glass of wine and enjoy conversation or just quiet introspection as you create your own special representation of you.  This will also enable the children to create their masterpiece in the company of other children.

Sharing is an important part of the event, but not required; sometimes just the revelation that we all are so similar in what we dream about for ourselves and our children is enough.

Once the Art Inside Me canvasses are complete, there will be an opportunity for children to come together with their parents and have a very eye opening conversation.  If you choose to come without a child, you can have that conversation with a fellow mother or just sit back and relax in the glow of discovery.

This event is designed for children ages 5+.

Seating is limited for this exclusive RMB event.  Book your tickets now to ensure you won’t miss out! 


About renomomsblog

The Reno Moms Blog is a community resource connecting Northern Nevada moms to each other and local resources both online and offline for nurturing, education, friendship and support.

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