When Tara Fitzgerald saw pictures on Facebook of her friends from Louisiana painting and drinking wine at a local studio, she thought, "That looks like a great time."
Intrigued, she investigated further and found that Charlotte had nothing like Painting with a Twist, a 3-year-old company founded in Mandeville, La., where her friends were painting. The company bills itself as "painting as entertainment."
Fitzgerald moved to Charlotte from New Orleans five years ago after Hurricane Katrina, and she now lives in southeast Charlotte with her family. Her background is in physical therapy, but she's always loved entertaining and hosting parties.
After talking with the Painting with a Twist company owners and getting a "go for it" from her husband, Fitzgerald bought a franchise in December and will open North Carolina's first Painting with a Twist on April 30 in Sharon Corners.
Unlike many do-it-yourself art studios, Painting with a Twist hires local artists to lead groups of customers step by step through a painting. Many classes are for adults, who are encouraged to bring wine, beer and snacks.
Even if you haven't picked up a paintbrush since kindergarten, Fitzgerald is assuring that you'll still have fun at Painting with a Twist.
"It's beginner friendly," she said. "People will see the painting and say, 'I can't do that.' At the end of the night, though, they have a really, really nice painting."
And if for some reason customers get home and don't like their painting, all are welcome to return for free on Saturday mornings, and an artist will help fix it.
Customers can sign up for classes alone, although groups are encouraged. Art instructors keep the classes entertaining, and most paintings will be dry by the end of the evening.
"You leave that night with a painting," Fitzgerald said. "You'll have a great time doing it."
She also is planning family and children's classes and will host special parties and corporate events.
Fitzgerald's website lists the dates and paintings for each class. Two-hour classes cost $35, and three-hour classes are $45. All materials are included.
To sign up for a class, visit www.paintingwithatwist.com/charlotte or call 980-224-7760. Painting with a Twist is at 4724 Sharon Road, Suite J.
Renew, Energize and Donate
Associates from Keller Williams Realty Baxter will help out for the second annual RED Day on May 12.
RED stands for Renew, Energize and Donate, and community members will be painting a house and updating landscaping for a family in Rock Hill.
More than 30,000 Keller Williams employees in the United States and Canada will participate in RED Day.