Rob Maniscalco, a local painter who has been turning heads around the country with his stunning commissioned portraits, is now also the newest artist in residence in North Charleston. “I’m looking forward to what I’m going to learn as much as what I’m there to share … [and] to the challenge of working with young people again,” Maniscalco says about his upcoming gig.

The artist in residence is a one-year contract where an artist is chosen to go into local schools and teach students through workshops. “At around age 10 kids begin to have the urge to draw what they see. If they don’t get a workable method at that time, they can become discouraged,” Maniscalco explains. “I teach workshops and have produced DVDs called The Power of Positive Painting. It is a very simple approach to drawing and painting that produces excellent results.”

Maniscalco anticipates teaching the students mostly how to do self-portraits and portraits of their friends and family. “I go all over the country painting portraits. It’s a great life, but it’s not for everyone. One can only hope to make a difference by creating openings in people for insight and breakthroughs,” Maniscalco says.

In addition to the outreach programs, Maniscalco will also workshop at the Carolina Youth Development Center once a month. He believes everyone is entitled to a level of visual literacy, and he hopes to bring this to the students of North Charleston.

The painter also hopes that the experience will leave an impression on him as well. Maniscalco says, “I guess this is my chance to re-experience, perhaps reinvent, the joy of my own artistic epiphanies.”