By Malini Bartels
When you walk into Pinot’s Palette on Mountain Avenue, it might take a while to figure out what they do. The first time I was introduced to the “sip and paint” business was a few months ago when I was a curious passerby. My eyes were immediately drawn to a lovely picture of tulips on the wall. I was then greeted by owners Kim Fain and Tony Curtis and given a friendly tour of the establishment. My first thought was I can’t wait to have a party here!
Pinot’s Palette is a place to paint, drink, and have fun. This is exactly what the instructors, or “art entertainers,” are trained to help you do.
Even the paintbrush-challenged folks can have a fun time creating a unique work of art while sipping on wine, drinking beer and having a blast with friends.
The Fort Collins location is a franchise and the first of its kind in town. Owner Kim Fain first experienced the sip and paint concept while visiting her daughter in Houston. They had such a fabulous time; Kim told her husband Tony about it, and they knew it would be a perfect fit for Fort Collins. The location on Mountain Avenue has been open less than a year and already has hosted several baby showers, bachelorette parties, family reunions, and children’s parties. They even have a private room in the back that you can rent for whatever occasion you need.
Everyone is encouraged to drop in and check out the fun, even when a class is in session. They also have open painting times throughout the week. Don’t be surprised if the people in there are singing along to music, answering trivia questions for giveaways, socializing and partaking in various drink specials throughout the night. The instructors are quite literally performers. They show students the step-by-step methods for creating a work of art, while making it an entertaining event. Most of these art entertainers have art degrees from CSU or are art therapy majors. They undergo a rigorous boot camp for training, participate in a mentoring program and co-teach before being allowed to lead a class.
“The instructors come up with the designs and have it approved. Then they develop step-by-step instructions for creating it,” says Kim. “We start with the background and work our way forward”
There is also a master library for all Pinot’s Palette franchises to select art from. If a painting is taught twice in the local studio, it is submitted to the master library of Pinot’s Palette for all locations to access. Every time the painting is taught, the artist gets paid. “The earning potential for art entertainers is tremendous here,” says Tony.
Fort Collins is extremely fortunate that our location has an artwork collaboration with both Odell Brewing and New Belgium Brewing. ome of the local classes show you how to paint the beautiful art showcased on your favorite beers!
The team at Pinot’s Palette will have a booth at New West Fest and Art in the Park, both in August. They are excited to answer questions, show some artwork and talk about what they do. On Saturdays and Sundays during the summer months, they have one of their art entertainers on the sidewalk outside the studio doing a live demonstration in the evenings.
Classes are held throughout the year and are two to three hours depending on the art. Cost includes the canvas, paint and instruction. You get to take home the artwork you create and display your artistic talents! They almost always have kids classes on days there is no school to keep kids busy. This summer, they have a kids camp every Wednesday.
Simply put, Kim and Tony say that people may not think they are artists, but they really are. At Pinot’s Palette, there is no experience necessary, no expectations and no age limit. All you need to do is be willing to have fun.
For more information about Pinot’s Palette or to register for an upcoming class, you can visit their website at: www.pinotspalette.com/fortcollins
The studio is located at 159 Mountain Avenue in Fort Collins. You can also find them on Facebook or call them at 970-214-5208.