VALLEJO, Calif., (KRON) — As people continue to stay home with shelter-in-place orders still in full effect, a local artist is helping his community get through unprecedented times by teaching free online art classes. Edgar-Arturo Camacho of El Comalito Collective, a community-based art gallery in Vallejo wanted to continue to help his community express themselves.

“We decided how are we going to continue to reach out to our community and offer support,” Camacho said. “We decided to start offering art tutorials every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at noon free virtual online painting tutorials.”

Every week Camacho and his partner Abel live stream tutorials through Facebook and Instagram where nearly 2,000 people tune in to learn how to paint.

As sheltering-in-place orders continue many individuals have had to find someway to keep their mental health in check.

Camacho’s virtual classes have reached thousands as the tutorials are given in both Spanish and English — focusing on positivity through art.

“Throughout the process we try and make it as positive as possible talking about body positivity, talking about how to help anxiety” Camacho said. “We tie it back to mental health because there is a lot of science that shows that creating art has positive impacts on someone’s mental health.”

Through the virtual online tutorials a local family was deeply impacted by El Comalito Collective’s effort to help people cope with current circumstances.

Elsa Perez and her children came across the classes and Perez tells KRON4 it is something her family looks forward to every week.

“With all these different things going on, my mental health was really starting to go down,” Perez said. “With him offering those classes he has really helped me emotionally.”

Elsa Perez and her children Giselle, 8, and Alex, 11.

After Camacho learned Perez and her family had no art supplies, he took it upon himself to equip the family with all the supplies they would need.

Camacho tells KRON4 he is fortunate to still be working from home and wanted to give the community something positive to look forward to.

“Our whole belief is that if we have the privilege in attaining a higher education, we have a responsibility to the community to give something back,” Camacho said. “If theres a way that we can continue to contribute to the positive energy of our community than this is what we need to do.”

The tutorials are appropriate for all ages and can be found on the El Comalito Collective’s website or by tuning in every Monday, Wednesday or Friday on Facebook.

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