Real Richmond Review: Spirited Art

Richmond’s newest art studio, Spirited Art, is, in a word, brilliant.  The concept behind Spirited Art, brought to Richmond by two entrepreneurial local moms who were inspired after visiting the Huntsville location, is to combine step-by-step painting instruction and, get this, delicious food and wine.  The studio is conveniently located next to The Wine Loft in West Broad Village, accessible from both the street and The Wine Loft itself. 

I had the good fortune of attending the Full Circle Grief Center fundraiser at the brand new studio last night, and can honestly say I can’t wait to go back.  Combining a painting class with delicious appetizers and wine is a wonderful concept in itself, but it’s the warm, helpful staff that makes the experience so wonderful.  The range of artistic skills in the room was vast, and the incredibly patient instructors were there with a smile for each and every one of us. 

Even in its first week of operation, the Spirited Art studio was very well organized and creatively decorated.  (Leave it to the ladies to warmly decorate a giant empty space on a budget.  Even the restrooms were adorable.)  We were enthusiastically greeted and directed to workstations set up with everything needed to create our paintings.  Would I like some wine?  Why yes!  Appetizer?  Of course!  But then I saw the blank canvas in front of me and the fear set in.  I was completely unsure of how I was going to turn my empty canvas into the professional-looking work of art that was displayed at the front of the room.  Did they know that I have serious troubles with drawing?  Did they know that even my 2 year old looks at my driveway chalk drawings with a mixture of disappointment and pity?  But my worry quickly dissipated as soon as our lovely hosts began to speak.  (And I’m not gonna lie – the wine helped a bit, too.  It’s like they know me.)

Our instructor, Emily, guided us through the process with a light-hearted, no-pressure, knowledgeable demeanor that allowed novices like myself to relax and have fun, while assistants floated around the room to help and provide encouragement.  My skepticism crept in a few times throughout the evening, usually when I glanced up at Emily’s canvas and compared it to my own, but I was always reminded that it would turn out fine.

And it did.  In fact, the painting itself – which turned out WAY better than I thought I was even capable of – was just the icing on the cake of a great evening.  At the end of the night, we had raised over $700 for Full Circle Grief Center, had each created a piece of art we can actually be proud of, and had truly a wonderful night. 

In addition to its regular painting classes, Spirited Art hosts fundraiser evenings once a month for local schools and charities, where $25 of the $35 seat price goes to the charity.  They also do kids’ classes and birthday parties.  Bring your friends, your mom, your kids, even make it a date night – you’ll see as I did that these women have created something new and special for Richmond.

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Katie is a freelance writer living in Richmond with her husband and three young children. She finds the joys and insanity of chasing around 3 little ones provide constant hilarious inspiration for her articles on motherhood.