Let your inner ‘van Gogh’ show at Paintnite

Paintnite parties are leaving Calgarians buzzed with excitement, and not just from the drinks, at local bars.

The Paintnite community was launched in 2012 by Dan Hermann and Sean McGrail when they started serving wine, while teaching people how to paint at their local art studio.

It has since become a hot trend for date nights and a way to get creative and romantic with an easel, pallet, tutor and a glass of wine.

Navia Garcia, a second-year business student at SAIT, ventured out to her first Paintnite in early February and was delighted to discover she actually has talent.

“The whole concept is to make you feel comfortable putting together this ‘masterpiece,’” Garcia said.

“The artists are super helpful and made the whole process really easy.”

Paintnites have reached 1,500 cities worldwide, showcased more than 1,050 artists and work with more than 3,500 bars.

Jamie Shiu, a Paintnite instructor and artist who graduated from ACAD in 2008, likes doing the events.

“The crowds are infectious and typically quite large, but that depends on the venues capacity. We can usually fill up to 50 or 60 members for the evening and are pretty good at working through the different paces of each member,” Shiu said.

“We want to give the best experience and have our customers leave with a beautiful piece of art, so we mix it up and get creative. Not everyone’s piece ends up looking the same.”

Customers can use the Paintnite website to find bars nearby that are hosting the event.

Each night features a different painting, based on scenery, flowers, animals, or something else.

These paintings are highlighted on the website beforehand, giving customers the chance to pick their favourite.

“The paintings are done by someone else and we have to reproduce them before we can dive into a crowd and explain to them how to do it,” Shui said.

“They look hard, but we try to break it down into simple steps.”

The instructors are all local artists who have went through a process that involves submitting their own work and being able to explain how they did it in detail.

Each instructor is reviewed and scored by their customers and therefore building up a repertoire.

We want to give the best experience and have our customers leave with a beautiful piece of art. – Jamie Shiu

“I think the entire idea around Paintnites really opened my eyes to local bars and hidden pubs,” Garcia said.

“It is a smart way to get people to come back to your bar, and great marketing technique, for sure.

“It really is more memorable than just going to the movies. You get to order food, have a glass of wine and enjoy someone’s company while doing something creative that you wouldn’t normally try.”

About Nisha Leba 5 Articles
As a writing and communications major in the journalism program at SAIT, Nisha Leba is working as a reporter for The Press during the 2016-17 academic year.

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