A night out with friends or a significant other can make you feel refreshed and exhilarated. But whatif you could add feeling accomplished and talented to the mix? Artsy nights out are becoming increasingly popular as businesses pair art classes with socializing. Not only do you take home a personalized piece of art, but these nights out are often cheaper than dinner and a movie.
Robin Russell and Vince Gaus of Odenton go on crafty dates once a month. They love creating and painting home décor at Cricket Studio in Annapolis. “We enjoy getting crafty on date nights as it allows us to create unique pieces to display in our homes and the memories of creating them,” says Russell. “It also allows us to do something different than the usual movie and dinner.”
Local businesses offer everything from painting on canvas to creating home décor and building wine caddies and making signs. Professional artists guide the classes, supplies are provided, and customers can eat and drink (usually alcohol is allowed) while crafting.
“Paint nights are not your average date night or girls’ night out. It’s something different to do,” said Sara Rosenfield, PR and marketing director at Muse Paintbar. “We try to create a laid-back vibe with good music, drinks and company. Aside from being a break from the norm, it’s also a bit nostalgic. Painting brings them back to their childhood, thus helping to lift spirits, and temporarily escape the everyday stresses/worries and just paint.”
Annapolis Wine and Design
32 West Street, Annapolis
Paint a picture on canvas at Wine and Design Annapolis. The guided painting classes are held Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Most of the time, canvas is used; however, occasionally projects include wine glasses or wood crafts. Customers are welcome to bring food and non-alcoholic beverages, though Wine and Design sells wine and beer. The cost is $35 to $45, depending on the project. “Crafting nights make amazing date nights and friend nights,” said Veronica Jordan, owner of Annapolis Wine and Design. “Pairing wine and art therapy with the ones you love is a perfect experience.”
45 West Street, Annapolis
ArtFarm Annapolis is a haven for artists. Most days it’s a place for formal art classes, evens and local artists’ exhibits. But the downtown Annapolis art hotspot also hosts Make it Nights, where anyone is invited to a craft workshop, while socializing with friends. Each Make it Night features a different project, such as pottery, wood carving, block printing, paper marbling, abstract watercolor, ink and weaving.
“Make it Nights are a great alternative to other girls’ night out activities, and we love when friends or couples or even moms and dads and their teens sign up together and bond over learning a new skill,” says Alison Harbaugh, owner of ArtFarm. “No artistic talent is needed. We have designed these classes to be stress-free and fun and we encourage all levels to attend. It’s about learning and doing, not about being a perfect artist. It’s cool to see people who don’t think that they are artists, light up and take credit for creating a cool piece of art that they will display or use.” Classes are usually held on Fridays (twice a month) from 6 to 9 p.m. Light snacks and drinks are served. The cost ranges from $45 to $75, depending on the project.
Muse Paintbar Annapolis
1915 Towne Center Blvd. #110, Annapolis
People are often surprised after a night at Muse Paintbar, says Sara Rosenfield, the company’s PR and marketing director. “Customers just need to come in with a good sense of humor, an open mind, and be ready to have some fun. No artistic talent is required,” says Rosenfield. “We always advise everyone to not judge themselves too quickly. A painting builds on itself layer by layer so it won’t look amazing right away, and that’s part of the process. Let go of the need to control the outcome and you might surprise yourself with something wonderful.”
Projects include painting on canvas, wine glasses and wooden signs. Special sessions include couples nights, and Paint Your Pet nights, where customers send in photos ahead of time for artists to create a sketch of the pet before the event. Sessions are about two hours and 15 minutes, and cost varies depending on project, day and time. All supplies are provided as part of the fee; food and drinks are sold on site.