The phenomenon of “sip-and-paint” parties has been around for more than a decade now, with franchises popping up all over the country. Although social gatherings at which neophyte artists paint something that they can take home while drinking wine have become a popular trend, the companies that organize them have come up against a marketing conundrum: how to get more men to show up. Unless they’re organized specifically for couples, sip-and-paint parties tend to draw a predominantly female crowd.
With Valentine’s Day nigh upon us, the mid-Hudson’s local sip-and-paint organizer, Newburgh-based Vine Van Gogh, has come up with a new spin on the event that should make it more appealing to “both ends of the spectrum,” according to marketing coordinator Hayley Ward. The concept is called GOGH Together, and it’s taking its maiden voyage right here in New Paltz on the evening of February 14.
“A lot of couples make it a date night” to attend a Vine Van Gogh party, says Ward, “but then they get home with two pictures that are very similar and have to decide which one to hang.” That sounds like it might be a recipe for a marital squabble that would be the antithesis of the sort of cozy harmony that a date night is meant to achieve. So what to do?
For GOGH Together, instead of everyone in the room following the art teacher’s lead of creating essentially the same painting, a diptych titled You’re in My Bubble has been designed by artist April Taylor. It’s a dark silhouette of a tree trunk and branches, divided right down the middle. On the left-hand canvas, it’s framed against a wintry sky in cool colors. On the right-hand canvas, the background is a fiery sunrise or sunset. Each would work as a separate painting, but according to Ward, “When they’re hung together, they form one picture.”
The host for the Valentine’s Day GOGH Together event will be Novella’s, located near the Thruway entrance at 2 Terwilliger Lane. The teaching artist will be Jamie Sanin, a freelance painter and photographer who got her degree in Art Education at SUNY New Paltz and currently is the costume advisor for the Masque and Mime Society at Washingtonville High School.
Tickets for GOGH Together at Novella’s cost $175 per couple, which includes not only a step-by-step painting lesson, two canvases and all art supplies, but also a buffet dinner for two, your choice of beer, wine or mixed drink, one long-stemmed rose and a box of Krause’s Chocolates to take home. The dinner spread includes a mixed green salad with a balsamic vinaigrette, penne alla vodka, chicken piccata, seasonal mixed vegetables, bread and butter and lemon cake. Dinner is served at 5:30 p.m.; the painting begins at 7 and goes on for about two-and-a-half hours with a break in the middle. Participants must be 18 years of age or older (and 21 to partake of alcoholic beverages, obviously).
So if you’ve been looking for some way to celebrate Valentine’s Day with your sweetie this year that isn’t the same-old same-old not-so-romantic dinner in a packed, noisy restaurant, creating a memorable pair of keepsakes at GOGH Together might be just the ticket. “It’s a different way to spend Valentine’s Day,” Ward says, “more of an activity.”
To reserve your space, visit the Vine Van Gogh website at https://vinevangogh.com or call (845) 675-1217. You can also check out Vine Van Gogh’s Facebook page.