SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Business

July 31, 2013

A place to sip and paint

Wicked Art Bar studio makes art accessible

BEVERLY — You can’t blame someone who works with entrepreneurs all day for wanting to start a creative new business.

Renee Gannon, the director of marketing for the Enterprise Center at Salem State University, and her friend, Alexandra Terista of Danvers, are co-founders of Wicked Art Bar, where patrons can enjoy a glass of wine while learning how to paint.

“It’s part technique and part fun,” Gannon said of the painting sessions, which do not require any art skills to participate.

For $35, an instructor will guide you through a two-and-a-half-hour painting session. Everyone paints the same image, and all materials are included. The sessions are held at Wicked Art Bar or at a partner venue on the North Shore.

The business opened earlier this month on the ground floor of the Studios at Porter Mill, at 95 Rantoul St. Nearly 50 artists have studios there, and their work is on display at a gallery next door to the art bar. Gannon said the neighborhood appears to be on the rise with a new commuter rail parking garage being built across the street and a large apartment building under construction right outside Wicked Art Bar’s windows.

“We met a lot of the neighbors. People have stopped in and said they are excited we are here, ‘We can’t wait to try it out,’” Gannon said.

Wicked Art Bar looks more like an art school than a bar, with stools and easels lining the space. A bar lines the wall as you walk in.

On July 11, the establishment won a seasonal beer and wine license from the city, the first such seasonal license issued to a business in six years, Gannon said. The license still needs state approval, and Gannon hopes to be fully up and running by September.

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