All in the Name of "Love": How This Couple is Giving Back through Art!
"I thought it'd be cool to network, build a community, and just pass on the information that was passed onto me", says Brandon Thompson as his partner, Deidre Hathor, nods in agreement. Both Brandon and Deidre are local artists within the Bakersfield community, and they've made a name for themselves! Their experience includes many local commissions and one most recent and highly-noted collaboration, the "BLOOM" project. Now, they can add "art instructor" to their resume as they've started teaching art classes right out of their own
"I thought it'd be cool to network, build a community, and just pass on the information that was passed onto me".
When asked about the start of their relationship, both Thompson and Hathor agreed that they wanted to be with someone that had a love for art. To Brandon, the only person that can understand an artist is an artist. So, when Deidre brought up the idea of starting an art class, Brandon was fully supportive. For the past five months, the couple have ran Saturday sessions that cater to both children and adults!
From adding resin onto canvas to spray painting on a large wall, they're able to touch on multiple mediums. For them, they've been doing this for a long time. "I've considered myself an artist since I was a child...[when] I was painting on my mother's wall" says Hathor matter-of-factly. It is this confidence that showcases the idea that self-recognition is where it starts for us that desire a future in the art world.
As People of Color (POC), the push for diversity continues. Thompson adds on that diversity isn't just "the way they look, but the way that people think". As a son of a Black father and a White mother, he credits his mixed background to what he knows now and how he's able to provide to a town of multiple cultures.
Thanks to the outreach from the community, donations help to keep these classes going. Most times, attendees come back to see what else Brandon and Deidre has in store for them! The two hope to expand to a larger location and to bringing in special guests to continue the growth of their students. According to Thompson, "We can all thrive as artists."
Story by April Reed