While Maria Gillan's gallery show was still on display at the Hamilton Club Gallery at Passaic County Community College, the artist and poet offered a free painting and collage workshop on December 14.
Providing basic watercolor art materials and tools for collage work, Maria offered a safe space for "non-artists" to try their hand at art. In much the same way as Maria approaches a poetry writing workshop, she encouraged participants to "knock away the crow who stops you from entering the cave."
She describes the crow as a creature who has in it the voice of every person who has ever been negative to you in your life. Those voices are caught in the beak of the crow who, she says, "whispers in your ear all the time, and if you let it, it will stop you."
Maria urged the artists to find that place inside of themselves where poems and perhaps art can be found. This is what Maria tries to get people to do in all her workshops and classes - to see that they have something important to say, and that they don’t have to imitate other people.