By guest writer Autumn Whiltshire
Claiming to be “the new night out,” Lets Art Party offers a new take on an old theme. The interactive art studio, operated by Leacy and Buster of the well-known Dave & Buster’s, combines art instruction with a BYOB setting, and purports to be “the ultimate painting party.” Yet for this attendee, the Plano location’s December 1, 2011, two-hour, Fall Cherry Tree class was heavy on art, but light on party.
Upon arrival, my husband and I were relieved to see the night’s picture outlined on our canvases. Wineglasses, aprons, brushes and paint were provided and seats were pre-assigned— all nice touches.
The room was large and sectioned off into two classes by a heavy curtain. A large monitor hung above the instruction easel allowing students to watch the instructor’s strokes. The class was categorized as easy and overall it was, requiring minimum color blending and unspecific brush strokes to achieve the desired effects. The instructor was confident and firm, but maybe too much so.
She explained the mixing of the colors and denoted the required motion of the strokes, but often forgot to mention the necessary color or brush. She was instructive, but not very personable. Though, she did tell us a story about an individual who didn’t want to listen to her instructions for creating a country road and instead painted broken white dashes down the middle of his. Whether we should laugh or feel his shame remains a mystery. Her firm demeanor hinted that she didn’t appreciate his creative flare, nor would she appreciate the same from any of us.
Nevertheless, I trudged forward, lost in my own style and my husband compliantly followed directions.
The assistant instructor made her rounds commenting here and there. When she came to our paintings, she commented “that we know who the artist is in this family.”
My husband and I looked at each other, puzzled. Even now we aren’t sure which of us she was complimenting.
We both left with our own works of art that we are proud of. And yes, we had fun. Though to consider Lets Art Party, the “new night out” may be a stretch. The concept has potential, but the implementation could use some more, shall we say—creativity.