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Carteret's Valentine's Paint Party Spread Love and Inspiration


By: Najla Alexander 

Hello, RLS Media friends and family!

Whether you spent this Valentine's Day focusing on self-love or appreciating another this week has been truly special, filled with an unmistakable feeling of love that enveloped us all. It's been a sensation that's been palpable, not just to me but throughout the entire Carteret community!Real EstateThe Central Jersey Council & The Arts Committee hosted a Valentine's Day Paint Party where you could "immerse yourself in a romantic evening of creativity at the Valentine's Day Canvas & Colors Celebration." 

On Thursday, I spent the evening at the Blazing Star Cultural Arts Center, located in Carteret, NJ, where I was able to witness a sea of families and couples enjoying the therapeutic nature of painting. 


Despite the biting cold outside, there was an undeniable warmth radiating from everyone as they saw their paintings come to life, which lit up their faces with joy and making the chill in the air worth braving.

A staff of four dedicated individuals transformed the center into having a cozy atmosphere where your imagination and creativity could flow.

All ages were welcome, and you had a choice between following the instructor's guided painting, which I like to describe as a 'Frosty Tree of Love Swaying in the Wind' or making a 3-D model of a Heart Tree where its leaves are made up of scrunched-up construction paper to give a realistic and cool look. 

Pic The three workers and one volunteer managed a small space of more than 15 people and provided us with refreshments and V-Day-themed snacks. Seeing all the kids eagerly rushing to the table to grab the red, pink, and white M&Ms, their giggles filling the air, brought a wave of calm over me. It was a sweet reminder of the joy found in life's simple pleasures.

As you walked in, you were greeted with welcoming smiles and a canvas ready just for you, making that small space feel like a home away from home. 

Yadira, the young paint instructor and worker at the center, easily guided the group who chose the first option.

It wasn't my first time at a paint-and-sip party, and the instructor always seemed to be amazing at painting, no matter what the picture looked like.


In this instance, it was all about how each person translated the image onto their canvas, guided by their feelings in the moment. The beauty lay in the uniqueness of each creation, with everyone giving their tree a special touch that reflected their individuality and showering it with the love it deserved.

As everyone mixed the colors they needed, the most bubbly ball of energy wrapped in the sweetest little girl sat down next to me with her mother.

She was only three years old and so excited and happy to be there with her mother.


Absorbed in the creative process, she relished the freedom to use her hands and bring to life whatever her heart desired, regardless of the instructor's guidance.

With paint smeared joyously over her hands and a beaming smile, she chatted with me about how much she loves participating in events like these, where she can fully express herself.

"It's about quality time. Self-love for each other", the mother expressed to me.

She truly wanted to teach her daughter how important it is to take time from life and enjoy moments like this with each other because sometimes that's all you have.


As more people started to pile in, and before you knew it, everyone was zoned in on their own painting. Creating their own little masterpiece to take home and cherish the memory of the night.

"First time here for a paint party, but have been here for art shows. Amazing way to destress from real life," Melody Mendoza, Middlesex County community member, said.

I also had the pleasure of speaking with Ms. Mendoza. Her insights on art were particularly striking–she described a world without art as unimaginably dull because art is a conduit for creativity to flow. Hearing her advocate for more art in our lives genuinely brought a smile to my face.

Carateret paint

"Without 'art,' Earth would just be 'eh," Melody explained to me, and I couldn't have said it any better.

Painting and other activities like it always seem to find their way into my life when I need them most.

The wave of relief that washes over me as I am just painting away in my own little bubble is probably one of the best ways to take a break from reality while being out in your community with those doing the same.


"I wanna come here more often," a child expressed in glee. Something I am glad to hear in an age of screens where events like this can allow kids of all ages to use their hands to create and express how they're feeling in different ways and get away from the technology. 

Everybody left with their own special painting, with an even closer sense of community on this day of love!

PicIt was a truly wonderful night that made my heart warm, and I look forward to seeing what more connections I can make in the community of Carteret, just like this one!

On behalf of all of us at RLS Media, I want to thank the dedicated staff and workers for allowing me to participate and witness an important day of love in the community!

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