Get Creative With the National Gallery’s Writing Salon Series

If finishing that book you’ve been working on for the past few years is at the top of your list of 2016 resolutions, the National Gallery of Art in Northwest is here to help.

The NGA is hosting a series of writing salons at the museum, featuring a monthly theme and discussions designed to help participants tap into the museum’s permanent collection to push their own creativity to the next level.

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With the quiet setting, comfy couches and world-class artwork, the NGA is the perfect place to spend a few hours with your story. The writing salon program adds another layer of inspiration, with talks and discussions, as well as guidance from local writers and poets on how to learn cross-medium lessons from the museum’s collection.

Jan Steen (Dutch, 1625/1626 - 1679 ), The Dancing Couple, 1663, oil on canvas, Widener Collection

What’s the story: April’s workshop will explore the narrative process as it relates to Jan Steen’s “The Dancing Couple,” a jocular, 17th-century oil-on-canvas work teeming with variety and motion. (National Gallery of Art)

The program kicked off in November with a workshop on setting. Using a Hudson River School landscape to illustrate the place of setting in a story, registration filled soon after opening.

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This month the second workshop will focus on character, using Picasso’s works to explore creating complexity. The third is scheduled for April with multilayered narrative and 17th-century Dutch genre painting as the theme.

Each workshop is offered three times over the course of one weekend of the month. Sessions are held Fridays, from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays, from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Although the workshops are free and designed for all levels of writing experience, pre-registration is required due to limited space. Given the popularity of the first session, a waitlist is available for those unable to register due to capacity.

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The writing salon series is just one of several programming options for adults looking to learn more about art and the museum. Gallery talks and lecture series are held throughout the year as well as a drawing salon series for artists.

The Food for Thought series is another fun way to learn about art history, featuring lunchtime talks on exhibits throughout the year.

For more information on all NGA programming, visit the museum website.

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Bridey Heing

Bridey Heing is a freelance writer based in Washington, D.C., and a staff writer at Hello Giggles. You can view more of her work here.

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