As we told you back in January, PWAT is a Louisiana-based company with more than 70 franchises, mostly in the South. The idea behind it is that you get some friends together, bring some wine or food and sign up for a painting class. At the end, you get to take home your masterpiece.
Janet Larson, owner of the new branch, said she hopes the shop will provide a creative escape from everyday stresses of jobs and life.
Larson knows stress. She’s a neonatologist, working with newborns in the intensive care unit at Jefferson University Hospital. “I have a stressful job,” she said. “This is a fun and creative release.” Manager Pat Moreta will run the day-to-day.
The idea came to Larson when she attended a PWAT grand opening at the location in Skippack, Montgomery County. She loved it and decided to open one in the city.
PWAT’s classes are two or three hours. Instructors focus on one painting in each class, guiding students along the way. Two-hour classes are $35 a person and three hour classes are $45.
But what is the connection between booze and art?
“Half of the people who come in are afraid to paint,” Larson said. “A glass of wine can make a difference.”
Larson said she chose the Passyunk Avenue location because it has high traffic, good access to parking and it is safe for women. Given that some private and public parties last late, safety is a concern. She also hopes her new branch will contribute to business in the area because people can go out to eat before they paint their masterpieces.
The paint-a-pet series gets students to submit photos of their pets. Then the instructor sketches the pets and teaches the students how to paint it. Larson also wants to contribute philanthropically by holding an event once a month called Painting With a Purpose. Half of the proceeds from each event goes to a charity the students decide to donate to.
All supplies are provided by the studio. “All people need to do is bring a beverage and show up,” Larson said.
– Ruthann Alexander, @RuthannAlexande