As if the animated owl and elephant painting weren’t enough, the two-week-old baby girl in the room made Pinot’s Palette have an approachable, feel-good mood.
Nestled into the Prairie Village shops, Pinot’s Palette offers the opportunity for customers to learn how to paint. Typically if you want to attend a class, you should call in advance. Your table will be set up with a canvas, paints and your name written in chalk on the table. You would have about a half hour of social time before the instructor puts on a mic and the participants would strap on their apron.
First walking in, my eyes opened wide. Paintings varied from a replication of the famous Van Gogh “Starry Night” to handmade forest sunsets painted by the local artists. There was an overwhelming feel of talent on the walls. Quite a first impression.
At first I thought there was no way these are actual art pieces that a common person could create. There is too much detail, texture and depth put into each of them. About midway through my visit I learned I was very wrong.
After talking to the co-owners, Deb Nemec and her daughter Kelly Flowers, Deb pulled out an off-white binder thicker than the average math textbook. Inside were pages full of each individual step of every painting in the studio, along with the corresponding picture.
“Obviously we are biased,” Deb explained. “But the quality of our product, I don’t want to say is better, more upscale. We are able to pull the creativity of hundreds of artists. Our paintings are done all over the country so you have such a wealth of experience and techniques.”
Pinot’s Palette is a place for diverse crowds to get away for a few hours, drink and be creative. At all 94 locations across the nation, Pinot’s Palettes are known for their BYOD policy — bring your own drinks. Three bars were set up with glasses ready at each one. Initially, the studios were set up targeting adults who wanted a break from their everyday lives, something different than a dinner and movie.
“An alternative to a night out,” as Deb explained it.
“It was originally started after Hurricane Katrina,” Deb said. “Women came up with this idea to give people a break from rebuilding homes and restoration. It was sort of a grassroots type of concept that just took off from there.”
A typical day at Pinot’s Palette is fairly slow until the afternoon. The earliest class they offer is from 2 to 4p.m. Usually classes are very full, so it is recommended to call at least a week in advance. Different classes are directed toward different participants — date night for couples, family night and ladies afternoon out. The BYOD policy is directed toward every class except the family night.
This seven-month-old business in the Prairie Village Shopping Center definitely deserves recognition. With high hopes for the future, I think this unique art studio is worth a visit.