You don’t need an art degree to enjoy one of Downtown Kirkwood’s newest businesses, just a desire to have a good time.
That is the concept of Art on the Vines which opened at 121 Suite B North Kirkwood Rd. in July. The “painting/party studio” hosts events where groups can rent out the space for a variety of functions. Participants bring their own drinks and snacks and Art on the Vines provides the supplies and instruction to create paintings.
“It’s a little bit about art and a lot about fun,” owner Robert Schrader said.
The studio provides a 16 by 20 inch canvas, aprons, brushes and qualified instructors to guide participants in their creations.
“Even novice painters are often surprised by what they walk away with,” Schrader said.
The owner does not have a background in art but rather business. He formerly worked retail in major malls and developed small real estate projects, but he was looking for a change.
“I like the concept and all the marketing and creating a fun atmosphere,” Schrader said.
He hopes to launch several Art on the Vines over the next year, but he wanted the first studio to be in Kirkwood.
“Kirkwood is just a fun, family oriented community, and it was a great space to launch the first one,” he said.
Schrader reports that even in its short time in business, Art on the Vines has already seen success as it attracts groups ranging from bachelorette parties to corporate events.
Now he is working on building relationships with local merchants and restaurant owners as he plans to provide free appetizers and wine tastings as part of the Art on the Vines experience.
The next move for the business will be to delve into instruction for parties with painters who have a little more experience, as well as teach a variety of classes that might include glass works and painting on different surfaces.
The focus, however, will remain on the fun, and Art on the Vines offers a full night of it. Party rates are $40 per person for two and a half hours of painting, socializing, eating and drinking.
"It's an alternative night out for people," he said. "If they come in two or three times a year, the business will be successful."
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