When Anna Ross opened Grapes & Gallery five years ago, she wanted to bring the painting and wine trend to Columbia but with bigger easels and better paintings.
Today, she can’t believe the success and popularity of the studio.
“We’ll look around the room and go, how is this person in the same room with this person? But it’s great because they interact and connect on a different level,” Ross said. “It really is interesting that we hit a lot of demographics. Our painters are almost fifty-fifty men and women.”
At the bar, Ross said she gets in two new beers and a new wine every week, in addition to the mainstays.
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“My wine drinkers are often turned into beer drinkers, and vice versa, because they just happen to be around to try something new and find it interesting,” she said.
And for all you hesitant artists out there, the bar caters to painters and non-painters alike.
“There are a lot of people who don’t want to paint or who are too intimidated to paint, so they just come in and have a beer or a glass of wine,” Ross said. “And a lot of people can become very self-conscious when they’re painting, and I think the wine and the atmosphere lets them relax.”
“People get intimidated by how technical the paintings look, but we’re able to break them down into layers so they can achieve it,” she continued. “They have to block out what the end product looks like and follow us and trust that each layer is going to build to that end product. You can think you’ve messed up, and we’ll help you get where you need to go.”
Most paint sessions are $35, though prices occasionally vary.
Grapes & Gallery’s lower level recently has been converted into a small gallery. The artist and pieces change every first Thursday monthly. (They’re booked a year in advance.) Ross will offer each artist a strip of wall upstairs to further promote their work.
“They can leave some work that they didn’t sell or exchange it out throughout the year,” she said. “That’ll keep it interesting.”
Doesn’t sound like this place has any shortage, or problem, with keeping things interesting.
If you go
Here are some places around Columbia where you can enjoy adult beverages and try your hand at painting.