Saturday, February 3 may have been gray outside but inside the K. K. Berge Gallery color abound. The Granite Area Arts Council hosted an alcohol ink art class taught by local artist Melanie Gabbert-Gatchell. The class was valentines-themed but participants were allowed to roam creatively in the medium. Gatchell began experimenting with alcohol ink tile art which uses pigment in isopropyl alcohol along with air movement, about a year and half ago.

“It's fairly new, but catching on” said the artist, “In this art form you have to allow for adjusting perception, often you start with an idea in mind but it’s not what you end with.” Gatchell who is a local multimedia artist with a Bachelor of Arts in Literature/ Creative Writing and History, and a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing with a concentration in poetry, has worked with the Granite Area Arts Council since 2012.

The participants paid a $25 dollar class entry fee and were provided all of the supplies and instruction needed to walk away with a 4x4 work of alcohol ink tile art. Portions of the proceeds went to support the Arts Council which provides many exhibits, classes and events for the Granite Falls community. Attendee and local artist John White was taking the alcohol ink class for the second time. The Artist has taken many classes offered by the Granite Area arts Council, “songwriting, doodling, they do creative things” said White who traveled from his home in Ortonville to attend, “Granite is lucky to have such a strong Arts Council, it’s a real treasure”.

Working in photography and the written word, White found the alcohol ink to be “so different from other art forms”. You can see John’s photography in an upcoming march exhibit at Java River in Montevideo. Lori Ryer who attended this as well as numerous other classes with the arts council said “It was the perfect way to spend a dreary day” and “the classes are reasonably priced”. This was also Ryer’s second alcohol ink art class with Gatchell, “I have also taken a poetry class with her and I like her photography too!” said Ryer.

Both attendees found the upcoming class through the Granite Area Arts Council Facebook page. The Granite Area Arts Council’s next meeting will be Wednesday, February 7 at 5:30pm in the K.K. Berge Gallery in Granite Falls. There, they will be planning upcoming classes and events that will be updated to the group’s Facebook page.