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Uplifting art takes flight in Seattle's Central District

Vibrant Palette Arts Center creates bold new project through virtual studio sessions. #k5evening

SEATTLE — Nothing soothes the soul or fires the imagination quite like the creation of something beautiful.

"We're just really empowering them to do their own thing and be creative and have their own voice," said Diane Knoll, founder and executive director of the Vibrant Palette Arts Center.

The Seattle studio brings the gift of art to people of all abilities.

Knoll said, "All of our artists are very unique in their styles, and their art is wonderful in its own way."

But when the pandemic put in-person sessions on hold, Knoll and her instructors took the studio online. The Vibrant Palette artists have been working from home on an ambitious new project. Each painter is putting their own spin on a colorful array of large fabric globe lanterns to be shared with the public. The project was conceived by artist Liz Tran.

Tran said, "I wanted to engage with the community, and develop a project that they could have a lot of fun with."

Working from home can be challenging. But the joy shines through in the colorful designs, and the smiles on the faces of the participants as they join together through videoconferencing while they paint.

"It's really taught us to be flexible," Knoll says with a chuckle.

The completed lanterns have been strung together like a massive necklace, now hanging between trees in the Central District's Pratt Park. The work is expected to remain there through the end of September.

A colorful message for all to see and learn: Art belongs to everyone.

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