When art accompanies alcohol, who wouldn’t have a good time? is an adult art class held at the every Friday and Saturday evening and run by painter Felicia Stevens of “Custom Art & Design.”
This type of art class which seeks to bridge the gap between gallery and bar is popular on the West Coast. Stevens really had her heart set on bringing this style of classes to the area but her main obstacle was finding a proper venue to hold classes. Originally she ran classes out of her Waterford home's basement studio under the title “Pinot Picasso.” The conditions, however, were not ideal for running weekly art classes.
“After praying over it I went to the Spirit Gallery and they welcomed the idea…it is kind of the direction they want to go in anyway,” says Stevens. The location is perfect, residing among downtown New London's abundance of both art galleries and bars. The fusion allows one to have a night out on the town and have a few drinks in a more relaxed and enriching atmosphere than a busy pub or bar.
“The Drunken Palette brings diversity to the Spirit Gallery…what we want to bring to the community is many different artist’s doing different things,” says general manager and piercer Lari Wilson. “It also helps draw a different crowd of people downtown and draw those from outside New London to New London.”
To attend the class students are only required to bring their favorite drinks; the rest of the material is provided, from paint and canvases to glasses for the drinks. “Reduce, Reuse, Refurbish” being part of the mission of Custom Art and Design, much of the material Felicia provides in her classes is recycled, including the canvases and paint which is leftover enamel-based house paint.
Each week class members replicate a new painting, and if it is a work by a famous artist Felicia opens the class with a short background lesson. At the end of the two hour class, students can expect to have a fully completed painting to take home and proudly hang on their wall.
Sisters Ashley and Katie Aruda and friend Jayme Keeling, all new to the Drunken Palette, agreed that it was a relaxing no pressure environment that they would like to take part in again. The environment is so low pressure in fact that you are not even required to follow the lesson presented before you.
Amanda Halsdorff for example only came for the atmosphere producing her own painting out of a sketch she had been working on for a while. “I didn’t know what to expect coming to this class,” says Halsdorff, “so I just did my own thing.”
Look forward to more classes featuring famous artists such as Warhol and Van Gogh in the near future. Come for the drinks, the art or the atmosphere. This is truly a class for all types.
R.S.V.P for Drunken Palette Art Classes by calling Felicia at 559-288-9446 or reserve a spot by looking for Drunken Palette on Facebook. Classes cost $35 to attend and are held Fridays from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturdays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. For information on the upcoming calendar send an e-mail to TheDrunkenPalette@yahoo.com. Gift cards are also available at any denomination.