Painting while you sip

Alcohol on a Friday night can easily lead to risky behavior, but art centers around Burlington are encouraging different kinds of risks.

Old North End Arts Center, which opened October 2014, offers a different art and alcohol pairing every Friday night. The center is located at 72 North Champlain St.

Their most recent event, titled “Wine and Watercolor,” took place April 8, and was taught by local artist, Jackie Heloise.

The center is run by artists and teachers Margaret Coleman and Becca McHale.

McHale and Coleman said the “Fun Friday” classes encourage students to take artistic risks.

The classes run from 7 to 9 p.m., and each one focuses on a different art technique, from watercolor to book binding, paired with alcohol.  

“Some people can be a little scared to get started on that endeavor and sometimes a drink is just what you need to throw caution to the wind and try something new,” McHale said.  

artclass2_vert_colorThe Friday night classes are open to artists from all skill levels, and are offered at affordable prices, McHale said.  The classes are $24 for non-members with a drink included.

“We want to make it accessible to everybody and we want everyone to have an opportunity to come out and try something new and get in touch with their creative self,” she said.  

The format of the class also makes it a good option for a wide range of students, McHale said.  

“People are busy, they feel like they can’t make a commitment [to a weekly class],” she said. “But a one-night fun thing on a Friday is accessible.”artclass3_horiz_color

Colleen Gillian, a student at Wine and Watercolor, said the one-night courses were ideal for her.

“It lets you just try it without spending too much money and there’s lots of variety [in the courses],” she said.

The theme of Friday’s class was “creatures.”

Artist Jackie Heloise said she likes to keep her classes simple, providing students with basic drawing and watercolor techniques, but allowing for individual time and creativity.

Heloise said she found the two-hour time limit difficult to work with at first, especially because of the pressure to help students create something spectacular.

“Adults usually have a set of goals in mind or a set of inhibitions,” she said.

However, Heloise said students generally leave the class proud of the work they accomplished.

“[The students] are usually pretty easy to please because they didn’t think they’d be able to make anything look decent,” she said. “But of course they can, of course they have it in them.”

Jessica Gandini, another student at Wine and Watercolor, said she preferred Heloise’s teaching style to some other one-night art classes she had taken.artclass1_horiz_color

“There is some instruction, but you’re not all doing the same painting,” Gandini said.  

Heloise, who not only paints but plays music and is currently learning ballet, said classes like Wine and Watercolor allow students to expand themselves artistically and mentally.  

“I think for anyone trying a new craft, it kind of gets you out of your routine,” she said. “Just in trying something new, like a new form or a new medium, they’re going to rediscover themselves.”

ONE Art’s next event is titled “Collage and Cocktails” and will be held April 15 at 7 p.m.