April 25, 2014

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The Paint Mixer Aims to Make Artists out of Everyone

By Devin Felix

April 25, 2014

How long has it been since you last sat down with paint and some brushes and just made a pretty picture? For many adults, the answer to that question would probably be "too long."

The people who run The Paint Mixer want to help you (and your friends, your family and your co-workers) to remember the excitement, the fun and the sense of accomplishment you felt as a kid creating something colorful.

The Paint Mixer is an instructional art studio and wine bar that is open to people of any skill level. At its two locations, in Park City and Sugar House, groups of customers can have a glass of wine, spend a couple hours in a relaxed atmosphere and paint alongside their friends. It's also become increasingly popular for corporate team-building events and fundraisers.

Here’s how it works: Each session features a painting, created by one of the Paint Mixer’s 12 artist/instructors. Everyone is provided with a canvas, a set of brushes and paint. A teacher walks the group through the process of creating the painting step by step, while participants follows along on their own canvases. The atmosphere during a session is upbeat and festive. The instructor also acts as a DJ, pumping music through the studio's sound system, and dancing is encouraged. The studio offers soft drinks, wine and beer, but Lecher says people are often so caught up in painting they forget to bother drinking, said owner Nicky Lecher.

“I didn’t know it was going to be this much fun,” said Jenny Longhurst, who recently took part in a session where guests painted a mountain landscape scene at the Park City location. “It reminds me of one of those high-energy classes at the gym.”

Lecher opened the Park City location in September 2012 on Main Street. Since then, interest has been high and business has been brisk. In September 2013, the company opened a studio in Salt Lake City. Most nights of the week, both locations’ calendars are filled with events, including corporate events, non-profit fundraisers, family nights and sessions that are open to the public.

Paint Mixer personnel have put on multiple fundraisers for non-profit organizations, including the Boys and Girls Clubs, Big Brothers and Big Sisters and Girl Scouts of Utah. They also customize their services to fit special events such as wedding receptions, baby showers and birthday parties. They even held a session for the University of Utah basketball team recently.

Lecher said painting together is great for corporate team-building because it puts people on the same level. Everyone from high-level executives to new entry-level employees works on the same painting at the same time. Some participants at corporate events (usually men with a strong sense of machismo) are skeptical when they start out, but before long they become engrossed in the process and softened by the encouraging atmosphere, Lecher said.

For more info and to see schedules of upcoming events, visit www.thepaintmixer.com.

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