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Painters' Pairing

Social experience blends wine and whimsy

Published: Friday, March 28, 2014 10:37 a.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, April 3, 2014 4:58 p.m. CDT

Groups, couples and singles are all welcome at a social and interactive art experience. Throw in some wine, appetizers and conversation and you’ve got a complete evening or afternoon outing. The concept is simple: art lessons offered in a relaxed atmosphere.

At Bottle and Bottega in Glen Ellyn, guests can bring wine or beer if they wish and the studio provides everything else: glassware, plates, cutlery, napkins, and of course all the art supplies. and the lesson. Staff also taps area businesses, such as Olives and Vinnies, for light snacks.

The events basically start the same way, said franchise owner Lynn Day. The first 30 minutes are spent mingling, setting up your space and getting comfortable. Guests are then guided through the art process by art teachers: they learn how to make a basic sketch, choose colors and mix paints. Guests are then taught how to layer their paint on their canvasses. The final half hour is spent on details. “We always make sure that people have time to finish their paintings,” said Day. “We take pictures throughout the entire evening.”

Day stresses that the non-artist is most certainly welcome at Bottle and Bottega. “We bring out the artist in everyone,” she said. “We love people who are beginners; we uncork inner their inner artist.”

The combination of wine and art is certainly nothing new, but lately locations like Bottle and Bottega have grown in popularity. Start-ups, franchises, and even stand-alone events of the sort are popping up across the suburbs. They’ve become commonplace for girls nights out, bachelorette and birthday parties, family day events and fundraisers.

“It’s a great girls night out,” said Day. “All of you can sit, chat and paint for three hours. You can’t sit and chat in a restaurant like that.”

The Glen Ellyn location has two studios and can hold multiple events at the same time; public painting parties are offered every day of the week. Vino vanGogh is a similar art “edu-tainment” company, and hosts events solely existing neighborhood wine and coffee bars, restaurants and other venues. Pinot’s Pallete, like Bottle and Bottega...

Some sessions are themed. For example one evening may focus on a specific master such as Van Gogh or on city scape painting. Fridays at Bottle and Bottega are designated for pizza and painting, certain Saturday afternoons are family friendly and couples/best friends are encourage on certain Saturday evenings.

“At the public events, when a single guest joins in they get seated within the group,” said Day. “We’ve also had Meet-Up groups here as well. “

Day pointed out that it is a great date night choice as well.

“It’s non-threatening date experience. You can do something together and still be part of a greater whole,” she said.

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