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When Marshall Shorts isn’t creating, he is helping others to create. The local visual communication consultant and event planner has hosted the BRUSH Experience, an art-centered alternative to nightlife where the patrons paint, for more than a year. The event, which features live music, wine and refreshments, personal-sized canvases and a larger, paint-by-numbers community mural, is a mix between a gallery opening, an intimate concert and playtime that many remember for elementary school.

“Creative is a state of mind,” says Shorts, whose BRUSH Experience has been attended by Mayor Michael Coleman. “Most people are not put in a setting to where they have been creative since they were children. We were looking for an alternative to the normal social networking events and nightclubs.”

The BRUSH Experience will offer its next installment on Saturday, May 28 from 8p.m. to midnight at Urban Spirit Coffee Shop, located in the King Lincoln District at 893 E. Long St.

Shorts’ BRUSH Experience concept has been featured at local festivals, events and corporate gatherings as a way to spark creativity in adults and children alike, including Columbus State Community College; his alma mater, The Columbus College of Art & Design; COSI and other local businesses. “We just decided that we wanted to create an event where people don’t walk away empty handed and maybe used a part of their brain they don’t get to use often…with good music and good people,” the 27-year-old Cleveland native says.

Shorts, who is creative director of his own design and events firm Soulo Theory Creative, also designs for We Don’t Need Your People Clothing, a t-shirt line that nods at politics and social consciousness in a fun, yet rebellious way. The shirts are sold at the website WeDontNeedYourPeople.com, which spoofs Gov. John Kasich’s quote on Democrats that sparked dialogue on race and politics in Ohio.

“The line started based on the political climate in Ohio at the time. So we just ran with it,” he says. “The line is political, yet funny all in hopes to spark awareness and conversation.”

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