Painting with a Twist coming to Monroe

June 24, 2011

Katie Queen, a senior merchandising and consumer studies major, attended the Shreveport class of Painting with a Twist with a friend.

by Justin Fort, Staff Reporter

Pablo Picasso, Vincent Van Gogh and Amedeo Modigliani all have something in common. They created some of the most celebrated paintings of all time while under the influence of alcohol.

Painting With a Twist, a new business opening in Monroe August 4, offers the same chance. All that is needed is a little bit of paint and some wine.

Tech graduates Joey and Kelly Bass decided to open the venue after having a great first-hand experience. Joey Bass, a self-described entrepreneur, said he decided to research the business.

“Here we are a month and a half away from opening our very own franchise,” he said.

Although Joey and Kelly aren’t art enthusiasts, they do have a passion for fun and owning businesses.

“It just so happens Painting With a Twist is a fun business that we own,” Joey Bass said. “Not only will we have fun, but we get to help others have fun. That’s priceless.”

Katie Queen, a senior merchandising and consumer studies major at Tech, said she had a great experience. The only drawback was the drive to the nearest one in Shreveport.

“I attended the Shreveport location for Painting With a Twist and it was roughly an hour away,” Queen said. “If I were still living in Ruston, I would definitely go to the one in Monroe.”

Joey Bass said Painting With a Twist is a fun way for people to discover their inner artist and unleash a creativity that may have been unknown to them before. His wife Kelly agreed.

“What kid doesn’t like to paint and get a little messy?” Kelly Bass asked. “It’s a great place for family and friends to get together for a couple of hours and have a good time without any worries in the world.”

Joey Bass said there is no pressure for people to paint. Painting is only a part of the fun. Queen said she felt the same while participating.

“You’re around people who can and can’t draw so there is no pressure,” Queen said. “You can do your own thing. If you want something a different color or size, you can do it. It’s your creation.”

Joey Bass said he wants people to focus more on the fun than the painting and not think about painting perfectly.

“The purpose is to show people who don’t think they can paint that even though you might not be Picasso, with a little bit of instruction and,” he joked “maybe a bottle of wine, maybe you can paint like him. Painting With a Twist puts fun first. Art is secondary.”

Queen saw this attitude in the staff when she attended Painting With a Twist classes in Shreveport.

“I was scared going into it because I can’t draw very well,” Queen said. “But the staff takes you through it step by step so it’s easier than you think.”

There is currently no age limit for those wishing to participate in the program. However, he said, it is a BYOB business. Therefore, night sessions are only for adults; drinking is optional.

However, there are private parties offered for children and teenagers who wish to participate without alcohol. He said the event is for everyone, young and old, men and women.

“I was the only guy in the class of 30 people,” he said. “So for all you guys that don’t like the bar scene and looking to meet ladies, this is a great opportunity for you. It’s a 30-1 ratio. If those aren’t good numbers, I don’t know what is.”

Bass said after being in Monroe for almost five years, he noticed there wasn’t much to do other than going to dinner, seeing a movie or going to the bar. He thinks Painting With a Twist will change that.

“We think this will bring a new, innovative way to have a good time with your friends in a fun and creative, stress-free environment,” Joey Bass said. “It will also allow the younger generation to get involved with the arts at an earlier age.”

The majority of classes are convenient for the younger generation. Most are offered after hours for those who have work or school. There will be two- and three-hour classes offered, costing $35 and $45 per person respectively.

“I would definitely participate again,” Queen said. “I think it’s worth the price. It’s a different activity other than just doing the usual dinner or movie. It’s fun.”

Painting With a Twist is also devoted to giving back to the community. Once a month, they host Painting with a Purpose where they partner with a local charity or non-profit organization and 50 percent of all proceeds go to the organization. Monroe’s first Painting with a Purpose will be August 14.

“It’s truly a great opportunity for us to give back and help the community,” Joey Bass said.

In less than a week, the business has more than 200 “likes” on its Facebook page. There has been a great response from many in the community.

“We’ve been very pleased with the number of people who ‘like’ us so far,” Bass said. “Anybody who likes to have fun and is looking for something new and different will definitely have to give Painting With a Twist a try.”

E-mail comments to jwf014@latech.edu.