Vino’s Picasso Brings Out the Inner Artist
Jun 01, 2013 09:28PM
What do fun, acrylic paint, brushes, canvases, easels and limited production wine and craft beers have in common? The answer is Vino’s Picasso. The unusual concept, developed in 2011 by Fort Myers resident Mercedes Price Harry, combines painting lessons for every skill level with entertaining art instructors, upbeat music and fun.
“Painting is proven therapy for the soul, which is why our local artists, who provide the lessons and tips, trade pretension and structure for sheer fun and enjoyment,” says Price Harry. In addition to instructed sessions, Vino’s offers open paint sessions, classes for kids and private parties for brides-to-be, as well as for individuals that are interested in
learning painting for personal pleasure and satisfaction.
Price Harry discovered a similar concept when she visited her sister in South Carolina several years ago. “I’m sure glad she dragged me there, because after I got past being
‘new-mom’ exhausted, I had so much fun that I was euphoric when I departed with my painting,” says Prince Harry, who expanded on the idea by adding a boutique wine bar and Starving Artists’ art gallery, where she features local talent. She notes, “I put myself through college by waiting on tables at a bed and breakfast, where I developed a passion for wine and food. I’ve simply channeled my passion for wine into a wine bar with a funky eclectic menu of wines.”
An equally eclectic menu of painting sessions gives customers plenty of choices. Open paint sessions before 6 p.m. are $25. “You can do your own thing or copy the paintings on the walls. We supply everything but the instructors,” explains Price Harry. “In the evening, if we don’t have a private event, our local artists instruct step-bystep for $35. This includes a 16-by-20 canvas stretched on wood frame. You walk out with a painting, and we clean up,” she quips.
Paint Your Pet is one of Vino’s most popular offerings. A customer submits a headshot and a local artist does a presketch on a 16-by-20-inch canvas. Then a local artist gives one-on-one instruction for painting it. Kiddo Picasso sessions are also popular. The good family fun includes a choice of paintings and step-by-step instructions. The off-site division of Vino’s, launched in January, includes in-home paint parties with up to 10 people. “We set up in the host’s home and break down. We will also do this in the host’s favorite restaurant, art gallery or museum,” explains Price Harry.