Lake Norman Magazine

Paint the town

2/25/11 FOR LAKE NORMAN MAGAZINE: The shelves and walls are covered in pottery creations at meg-art in Huntersville, NC. Jeff Siner - jsiner@charlotteobserver.com
2/25/11 FOR LAKE NORMAN MAGAZINE: The shelves and walls are covered in pottery creations at meg-art in Huntersville, NC. Jeff Siner - jsiner@charlotteobserver.com jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

Mix art with nightlife and most people envision strolling through a gallery with wine glasses in hand while admiring professional paintings or sculptures. Not necessarily. Toss out the strolling and the pro artists and you’re left with a great idea for a fun evening with friends. Paint-your-own-pottery studios usually come to mind when people look for homemade gift ideas or parents seek outlets for birthday parties, summer camps and rainy day activities. But when the lights go down, many pottery studios light up with night out options for friends or couples. Artistic talent isn’t required. Simply bring your own beverages – many places permit wine or beer - and food, and an appetite for a good time. Bella Pottery Painting Studio in Mooresville is open every Friday night until midnight for pottery and party loving gals to enjoy Broads-with-Brushes. Kids are permitted until 8 p.m. but it’s adults-only afterward. “Broads-with-Brushes is a big hit because it’s like therapy for women,” says studio owner Andrea Orbe. “You bring your own beverage, the kids aren’t around, and it’s a lot of fun.” No reservations are necessary and the only fee is the cost of the pottery you select to paint. On the last Friday of each month, ladies also enjoy Ba-da Bingo at no additional cost. But toss out your image of playing Bingo in the church social hall. Painters purchase a piece of pottery and receive a bingo card. The more pieces you buy, the more bingo cards you get. The first one to yell “Bingo!” receives a free piece of pottery to paint. “Who doesn’t enjoy bingo and who wouldn’t like winning free pottery?” asks Orbe. For couples wanting to break up the weekend scene of restaurants, clubs or movies, Studio B Pottery in Huntersville features Date Night each Friday night. Stacie Branham opened Studio B Pottery one year ago. “Our studio is very contemporary and open,” she says. “The atmosphere is lively and welcoming. Bring your own food and drinks, and just hang out and paint.” Studio B presents its Ladies Night Out every Thursday from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. “Come with one friend or ten friends,” suggests Branham. Although reservations aren’t necessary, Branham recommends calling ahead each week for offerings and availability. If you’re an early riser or can’t make either event, Studio B also offers a weekly Networking Meeting Wednesday mornings from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. Huntersville’s meg-art studio[NOTE: Lowercase correct – LD] is an area veteran in the paint-your-own-pottery business, having opened 14 years ago. Snacks and beverages are always welcome, and the studio remains open until midnight every Friday. “We have more guys in the studio on Friday nights than any other night of the week,” says owner Sherry George. “Our customers voted us the No. 1 place to take a date.” The studio gleaned national exposure five years ago on the TLC show “A Wedding Story,” when the profiled couple visited meg-art for the first date. George believes the Friday night studio scene is so popular because it’s a great alternative to traditional outings. “You can actually sit and talk, and it’s not loud and not crowded,” she explains. And, “people like having a memento to take with them.” It’s not uncommon for patrons to remain until 1 or 2 a.m. Twice each year meg-art also promotes “All Nighters,” where painters stay until 6 a.m. and go out to breakfast together afterward. Whether it’s a date night or a girls’ night out, the next time you’re looking for a place to party, forget painting the town and paint your own pottery instead. Drinks, snacks, and painting novices are always welcome.

Want to go?

Bella Pottery Painting Studio111-B Market Place Drive, Mooresville704-799-1737http://itsabellapottery.comHours: Monday – Thursday 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Friday 11 a.m. – midnight; Saturday 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Sunday 1 – 6 p.m.

Studio B Pottery13016 Eastfield Avenue, Huntersville704-948-3538www.studiobpottery.comHours: Monday – Thursday 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Friday 10 a.m.- 9 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Sunday 1 – 5 p.m.

meg-art studio15940 Northcross Drive, Huntersville 704-896-5211www.meg-art.comHours: Monday – Thursday 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. (or 9 p.m. if painters are still there);Friday 10 a.m. – midnight; Saturday 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. (or 9 p.m.); Sunday 1-5 p.m.

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