Studio nurtures creativity and socializing in a festive atmosphere

Vincent van Gogh did it. Pablo Picasso did it. Now Las Vegas residents have a place where painting, drinking and socializing meet at Paint and Party, 8826 S. Eastern Ave.

Paint and Party, which opened in November, offers painting classes taught by local artists, usually from 7 to 9 p.m. weekdays, depending on the number of people who attend.

Each class costs $40, which includes supplies, and participants are encouraged to bring a snack and beverage to enjoy while painting.

Donna Friese, co-owner of Paint and Party, said the concept behind the business was inspired by Art N Spirits, a similar studio in Chicago, where she previously lived. Friese said she always wanted to paint but didn’t realize she had the talent to do so until attending classes at the Chicago studio.

Friese reconnected with her former business partner Matt Dillon on Facebook and pitched the idea of opening a similar business near his home in Las Vegas. From there, Paint and Party was born.

Friese said something that makes Paint and Party unique from other art studios is its ability to attract people for various reasons.

“Here, you have time to talk and visit with friends,” Friese said. “Some people come by themselves and end up exchanging numbers at the end of the class with people they meet. We’ve had people do date nights. We’ve hosted parties and team building for Zappos and casinos. It’s just a fun thing to do for everybody.”

Calendars posted on the studio’s website, paintandpartylasvegas.com, show each artist and the painting he or she will emulate during the class for each night. Rebecca Walters, a local artist who teaches classes at Paint and Party, said she enjoys leading classes and watching people realize their potential talent through painting.

“I love guiding them through this (painting) process,” Walters said. “You watch people tap into themselves and find this talent they didn’t know they had. Everyone has their own start and stop points, and with that, they can make the painting their own.”

Friese said she aims to make the classes fun for those involved by playing music and having instructors interact with participants as much as possible. Though artists teach each class based on a single painting, attendees are encouraged to customize their own by changing colors and letting their creativity run wild, Walters said.

The number of participants for each class fluctuates anywhere from six to 30 people. The space also includes a room for private events, such as birthday parties or bridal showers. The space in Paradise is ideal, Friese said, because of the bustling businesses nearby and amenities that come with moving into a facility that once housed a pottery store. The co-owner, however, has bigger goals .

“In a few years down the road, we’d like to get a bigger space,” Friese said. “We want to be full every night and even during the day. Parties are more fun with more people, and once you get into painting here, you’re totally in the moment.”

Friese and Dillon envision catering to every type of party and providing an enjoyable team-building environment for different businesses. The owners also plan to work with local charities, possibly hosting classes with proceeds benefiting nonprofit groups.

Walters said that as she watches people kick back and relax while painting during her classes, she notices a change in their emotions. It’s something, she said, that makes Paint and Party unique from other studios.

“I think it’s good to bring creativity to people,” Walters said. “Usually, people are in the office all day, making phone calls and answering emails. This is a healthy outlet for them and a chance to get away from the stress. I like to see (participants) walk away smiling and happy.”

For more information or to reserve a spot in a Paint and Party class, call 778-5115 or email info.paintandpartylv@gmail.com.

Contact Paradise/Downtown View reporter Lisa Carter at lcarter@viewnews.com or 383-4686.

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