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Have a drink and enjoy a little artistic expression in the Vista (+video and photos)

krupon@thestate.com (803) 771-8308March 13, 2014 

At Studio Cellar on Lady Street in the Vista, customers can order whatever suits their palate from the bar and then order a palette of colors for painting a personal masterpiece.

The art studio-drinking establishment hybrid, which started a couple of years ago, is the newest brand of art bar to hit the Midlands.

“It’s a popular trend, and it’s really taking off” in the Columbia area, said Kim Jamieson, spokeswoman for the Columbia Convention and Visitors Bureau. “It’s a cool concept that’s making art and entertainment one in the same.”

Charlotte Gaskins opened Studio Cellar at 912 Lady St. last month in a renovated historic building with exposed wooden beams and brick walls. “It had good energy,” Gaskins said of the building.

Gaskins attended summer programs at the Savannah College of Art and Design during high school and graduated from the Art Institute of Charlotte. She spent two years as an international art dealer on major cruise lines. But it was back in the United States, traveling with her fiancé, that she found her passion as she stepped into a “drink and draw” in Wisconsin.

“I was like, ‘This is brilliant,’ ” Gaskins said.

WATCH

Last year, Gaskins set out to develop a business plan to bring Studio Cellar to Columbia. It finally opened in February.

Patrons can drop in for drinks and painting. The bar sells a variety of beer and wine, coffees and teas, and offers appetizers from the nearby Blue Marlin.

When painting, customers pay by the size of their canvas, ranging from $10 for a 6-inch-by-6-inch to $25 for a 16-inch-by-20-inch. Or they can sign up for organized classes that take place each night with direction from an instructor. The shop also offers kids’ activities during the day, including birthday parties and summer camps.

Jamieson of the Convention and Visitors Bureau thinks the drink-and-draw trend is here to stay.

“You don’t have to be a skilled artist to take part,” she said. “You can have a good time with friends and get to do something that you don’t necessarily get to do all the time.”

Other drinking and painting establishments that recently have opened in the Midlands include Palmetto Paint & Pour in Irmo and Grapes & Gallery on Taylor Street downtown.

“Each of them has their own unique offerings,” Jamieson said. “They’re popular, and I think it’s something that’s appealing to the masses.”


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