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Indiana art teacher paints with a purpose in new age of social distancing

As social distancing becomes a part of our norms amid the COVID-19 outbreak, one Indiana art teacher has created a social painting class to communicate with friends.

FLOYD COUNTY, Indiana — A Facebook group Mary Arnold says started as an accident now has nearly 3,000 members.

“I was going to paint with my friends, and it blew up,” she said.

Arnold started out using online art classes as a way to talk to her friends she couldn’t see while quarantining. She didn’t expect what happened next.

"I just threw it out there to the Facebook world and within a week we had over 2,000 people and we had several hundred paintings already made," she said.

The group is called Painting with a Purpose. The classes have attracted people from all over. It's grown so much that Arnold created a schedule for the classes. Two a week for kids, and two a week for adults.

People can talk with each other in the comments and socialize while still social distancing.

"They're able to show what they did it's almost like we're getting together four times a week and hanging out," she said.

Arnold says Preston Arts Center has seen a lot of people purchasing supplies for these classes, and it's helped their business during a tough time.

The classes are not only fulfilling a social need, but a creative one too.

"Me giving them a social outlet to create something and be with their family and with their friends I think that's why people are enjoying it so much. And it’s free."

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