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Thursday April 24, 2014
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"Social Painting" Arrives



The added "Underground" specifies the local store's location in the basement under Elmo's T-shirts on Main. Reached via a graffiti-covered stairwell, it has a noir, comedy club-like ambiance, and Spencer hires his art teachers for their ability to "joke around and keep the energy at a high level." Spencer and Patino themselves look a bit like the Blues Brothers in their nearly matching fedoras and deadpan demeanor. There's no liquor license at Paint and Pour, by the way--the business doesn't sell or distribute alcohol. They get away with allowing customers to bring their own because "we're heavily insured."

Paint Station has a more wholesome vibe. Kendra Wilkins and Catrina Vaughn both are educators (though not art teachers), and their studio occupies a sunny second-floor space above Panera Bread on Washtenaw overlooking Whole Foods. "We think art is a powerful tool to nurture creative abilities in all ages," Wilkins says. Spiderman and dinosaurs are two of the kid-session paintings offered, though, like Paint and Pour, they have a wide-ranging inventory of paintings on hand suitable for sessions ranging from couples' night out to bachelorette parties to team-building activities. Wilkins is also a caterer and can provide more elaborate, organized food service for an additional fee. Baseline classes at both places cost about $35 per person for a two-hour class that includes all materials.

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