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'Art Uncorked' Pairs Wine and Painting

Members of Amy Gibbs' Uncorked Art program display their paintings from a recent class.Open Space Studios and Art Explorium in Tillett Garden has brought a fun new pastime to the island: wine-infused painting.

Taught by local multi-media artist and Art Explorium owner Amy Gibbs, ‘Art Uncorked’ provides a creative alternative to the typical island Wednesday night. Budding adult artists are greeted with wine tastings sponsored by Glazier’s Premier Distributors, and very reasonably priced bottles are available for purchase throughout the class to stimulate the creative juices.

Gibbs provides a model painting for the evening’s class – either one of her own creations or a well-known masterpiece – and begins the class with easy, step-by-step instructions for the medium at hand. She chooses media and techniques meant both to challenge and to teach her students, varying from week to week.

Part social event, part wine-tasting, and all fun, ‘Art Uncorked’ provides as little or as much guidance as each artist desires. Gibbs offers suggestions, encouragement, and the occasional emergency canvas rescue as she works her way around the room amid 20 to 25 eager painters. Participants range from complete novices who haven’t painted since grade school, to more focused veterans who attend Gibbs’ classes consistently.

The $35 class fee covers the class supplies, time, and instruction, although painters are free to ignore the model painting completely if they so desire. The corks are popped at 7 p.m., and painters are allowed to work until after 9 p.m.

Art Haven hosted a similarly inspired one-night ‘Sip and Stroke’ event at La Luna Spa on May 7, also sponsored by Premier. Participants created mermaid-themed paintings on reclaimed wood, while snacking on hors d’oeuvre and sipping wine. A recurring event is not yet in the works, but both Art Haven and La Luna have advised that more special events may come.

Gibbs also teaches children’s art courses after school and as summer camps through Art Explorium. She hopes to add an additional ‘Art Uncorked’ evening as early as late June, as the weekly class has been routinely booked full since its birth in February.

Art Explorium and Gibbs request that potential painters reserve spaces in advance to ensure everyone has enough space, materials, and wine. Those interested can get more information and register by calling 1-340-514-5257 or visiting Open Space Studios online.

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