Lifestyles

Wine and Painting Reveals Your Inner Drunken Picasso

Spots on Staten Island That Will Spice Up Your Night

By Kristina Verdugo and Lauren Rosen

Paint, drink, and relax at one of the multiple wine and paint venues that continue to be popular, not only on Staten Island, but all over the U.S.  

Wine and Design, located in Rossville, and Pinot’s Palette, in Tottenville, have become some of the most popular places to hang out with friends, go on a date, celebrate birthdays, and host fundraisers.

Entrepreneur Magazine has ranked Pinot’s Palette eighteenth, and Wine and Design thirty-first, in its 2015 New Franchise Rankings due to growing demand.

These unique places enable anyone to channel their inner Picasso over a glass of wine and snacks. No experience is needed and drinking is optional, though some jokingly claim that the wine enhances their artistic abilities.

Just like any art class, the venues have created an intimate classroom feel, while adding a fun and relaxing twist. Tables are set up in rows, lined with stools and canvases, accompanied by palettes and brushes at each station. As the class settles in, each person receives a painting apron and gathers their wine and snacks before taking a seat at their canvas.  

Experienced and talented local artists, who provide easy step-by-step instructions to help you create your very own masterpiece within three hours, teach classes. Participants schedule their class online based upon the type of painting being taught. Calendars are displayed on both websites with a picture of the scheduled painting displayed under each date.

For those who shy away from arts and crafts, don’t worry! Instructors are there to assist you and ensure that you leave with the best painting possible. It is not to be taken seriously, after all, it is meant to be a fun social experience. Music is also provided to set the mood and put everyone at ease.

Pinot’s Palette and Wine and Design both offer private events for all ages. Their children’s birthday parties allow kids to show off their creativity and possibly discover a new hobby. Also, all private parties can choose from an array of paintings for their instructor to teach.

Wine and Design is the newer of the two, and had its grand opening on August 8. Here, instructors encourage you to “get your art buzz on.” Searching the phrase as a hashtag on Instagram or Twitter will lead you to hundreds of posts from all of their locations. Since Wine and Design was founded in Raleigh, NC, in 2010, the franchise has popped up in over 50 locations across 13 states.

Scheduling your class on WineandDesign.com is quick and easy. If you are planning to come with a group of people, there is a comment box to request group seating. Reservations require an online payment 24 hours in advance to guarantee your spot. Walk-ins are welcome, but it doesn’t guarantee a seat.

Artist and teacher, Ryan Hamilton, has worked at Staten Island’s Wine and Design since they opened. After 11 years of experience, he claims that the experience of teaching these classes has been more fulfilling than she had imagined.

“It’s amazing how years of knowledge can be taught in just a few hours, and the results are always the same,” said Hamilton. “Everyone loves what they create and are amazed by what they could accomplish with the right teacher helping them through every step.”

During the class, Hamilton was extremely helpful as she continuously visited all of her students to check on their progress, refill their paint and assure them that mistakes are always fixable. By revealing special techniques, Hamilton made the painting process much easier than everyone originally thought.

“Ryan was the teacher I requested for my birthday party at Wine and Design,” said CSI senior, Samantha Scott. “The whole experience was a blast, and actually pretty stress relieving. Ryan was so upbeat and personable, along with the rest of the staff.”

Classes usually start around 7:30 PM during the week and costs around $35, except during their “Wine Down Wednesday” sessions, which are $25. Currently, guests are able to bring their own wine and food, eliminating extra costs upon arrival, but Staten Island’s location will soon be offering a wine menu. They also offer couples classes, priced at $60 per couple. Fundraisers at Wine and Design are $45 per person, of which $15 is kept and the rest is donated.

One unique aspect of Wine and Design is its “Design on Wheels” concept, which enables customers to host a private party at their location of choice.

Design on Wheels has visited locations such as restaurants, bars, corporate offices, homes, event centers and wineries. The customer is only responsible for providing a 15 person minimum, tables, chairs and enough room to hold the class. Contacting a nearby location to inquire about traveling parties can easily be done on the website.

Kids are also welcome to have their own “Art Buzz Kids” birthday party, which lasts about an hour and a half, with an extra half-hour for cake and presents. The birthday boy or girl is able to select any painting from their original children’s collection. Wine and Design is also creating an “Art Buzz Kids” summer camp, coming soon.

Pinot’s Palette is a wanna-be artist’s dream. This franchise was created in 2009 in Houston, Texas, before it spread in 2010. Since then, Pinot’s Palette can be found in 125 locations across the U.S.

As you walk in, your eyes immediately widen as you observe the unique paintings that cover the room. There is a bar available and participants can purchase wine from a large selection, by the glass or bottle, so you can sip and paint while you enjoy the feel of the atmosphere.

Glasses are priced anywhere from five to six dollars, and the bottles range from $18-$26. Beer is also on the menu, ranging from four to five dollars.

There are other items for sale as well, such as different snacks and sodas, and Pinot’s Palette wine glasses, t-shirts, and pens. Painters are free to bring food or order for delivery.

If you registered online, you’re assigned a seat and easel. A name is written in chalk at each station, along with brushes, paints, and an apron. Pinot’s Palette’s venue also allows walk-ins, but only if there are spots left.

Stacey Raia, a class instructor, started painting when she was six years old. “What makes Pinot’s Palette different from other places is that this place is more creative and you have the ability to make your own type of artwork,” she said. “You can change the color scheme of the painting to anything you wish, and we give you step by step instructions whereas other places just give you a layout of the picture.”

Classes are held on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings. Occasionally, classes are held on other nights of the week, including Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Weeknight classes are approximately two hours and the price is $35 per painter. On Friday and Saturday, classes are three hours and cost $45 per painter.

Private parties for special occasions such as birthdays, bridal showers, bachelorette parties, or just a simple night to catch up with friends can also be held at Pinot’s Palette.

“Pinot’s Palette is a good way to show your creative side without anyone judging you,” said customer Jenna Lowmark. “Everyone is painting the same picture, but in their own creative way.”

Lowmark attended a painting class for Mother’s Day with her mom, Rona Lowmark. “The class was laid back and stress-free and the environment at Pinot’s Palette creates an atmosphere where someone can unwind from a long day and just relax,” said Rona Lowmark. “The vibe of the studio, along with a playlist of music made me feel like I can paint anything I wanted to perfectly, in my own way.”

Pinot’s Palette also offers a summer camp for children called “Petite Palette Kids Summer Art Camp.” Several canvas paintings, t-shirt decorating, mosaics, flower pot projects, print-making, collages, and puzzle design are some of the options for children to enjoy during their stay at the camp. The cost of the camp is $250 per child for the week, or children can be signed up for a single day for $60.

Although you may not consider yourself much of an artist, you should check out Wine and Design and Pinot’s Palette. They offer a unique way to have fun for any special occasion or a simple night out.

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