Circle Painting is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that promotes mental health and teamwork through collaborative art initiatives. Our network of certified teachers and workshop leaders bring art-based experiences to schools, organizations, and community events as well as provide in-person and online courses for social workers, art teachers, and workshop facilitators.
Circle Painting started as a painting experience for participants to create vibrant and collaborative artwork based on the universal and simple circle theme. With fun and easy-to-follow activities, even those who say “No” to art find themselves joining. Circle painting adds joy to events, drums up teamwork, and pumps up attendance at festivals, community events, and schools.
Draw All You Can was launched later in 2015. It is based around the innovative concept of our patented drawing cards, which have been proven to help people overcome their fear of drawing. Draw All You Can is ideally suited for mixed-age or ability groups. It can be easily adapted to online or in-person programs as well as large or small scale projects.
With over 20 years of experience in making and teaching art, Hiep Nguyen has facilitated numerous community-based art projects for thousands of people around the world.
Known for his dynamic, fun-loving, and non-judgmental facilitation style, Hiep's passion for making collaborative art is contagious. His unique participatory and social engagement process has transformed hundreds of empty walls and canvases and stretched the artistic muscles of people who otherwise do not have access to art or consider themselves creative.
He is also a frequently sought-after master teacher and keynote speaker at art education associations, universities, and museums across the country and overseas. In 2007, Hiep founded Circle Painting, a non-profit art organization where he currently serves as the Executive Director.
Our first big breakthrough! The Southeast Asian Leadership Network, a service-learning organization from Stanford University, invited us to train youth leaders and help them integrate art into their community service projects in Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Indonesia.
In 2009, we had the privilege of participating in a two-day festival in Hanoi, Vietnam that attracted 1600+ attendees. The event gave us the confidence to organize large-scale events with prominent local and international NGOs, charities, and other non-profits.
In another big step forward, we jointly organized Circle Painting Day with Art in Hong Kong and the Centre for Community Cultural Development. The initiative supported 500 underprivileged school children and other community members in the creation of a 3000 sq. ft. circle panting at Tuen Mun Town Plaza.
In the first of many team-building and professional development workshops, we helped Vista Academy create a beautiful mural reflecting their school’s values, and trained participating teachers as Circle Painting facilitators so they could continue to incorporate it into their lessons.
Thanks to art teacher Benjamin Stanton and his “Art for All, and All for Art” vision, we brought Circle Painting to schools throughout Compton, engaging with hundreds of students and teachers while supporting the creation of six large-scale murals over three years.
Following years of hard work, our 3-day Circle Arts Festival finally came to fruition! Sponsored by POLA and hosted by the University of Polytechnic HK, the festival brought 18 local artists from different disciplines together to engage the public with unique circle theme artwork.
To celebrate our 10th anniversary in Hong Kong, we reconnected with the amazing teachers, social workers, and facilitators we’ve collaborated with along the way. 2019 also marked the launch of our first “DrawAll You Can” cards, and the first mural inspired by the Draw All You Can principles.
Like most of the world, the COVID-19 situation changed our plans for 2020. Instead of spreading collaborative art education via international travel, we opted to create online training courses that serve the same purpose while keeping everyone socially distant and safe.
Circle Painting was first conceived back in 1999 while I was in Dalat, Vietnam doing the two things I love most: drawing and painting. One day, I invited some children to join me, and together we began filling the canvas with circles, one of the simplest, yet most profound, symbols in existence.
Over the following days, the children kept returning to my studio to create art, often bringing family and friends along for the journey. Overnight, art became something I pursued alone on the canvas to a vibrant, joyous community event, where people bonded over their shared creations. This was my “aha” moment and the seed from which Circle Painting would ultimately grow.
I went back to school and obtained a Master’s degree in Art Education from Cal State Long Beach. In 2007, I established Circle Painting as a non-profit organization alongside my wonderful wife Tammy. Together, we recaptured the magic from those impromptu art sessions in Vietnam and developed a plan to bring it worldwide.
Today, Circle Painting (and Draw All You Can) helps educators across the globe promote team-building and mental health through collaborative art. We couldn’t have done it without the support of passionate people like you!
Circle Painting could not exist without the unwavering support of our friends, patrons, and business partners who have repeatedly lent their time and resources to our programs. Thank you to the ‘Circle of Fame’ below, as well as all other supporters, including those who have helped anonymously.