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Spotlight:  Gretchen Wheeler

Gretchen Wheeler

In the fall of 2013, Gretchen Wheeler noticed canvas painting classes were starting to become popular across the country and thought it would be fun to do something similar in her hometown of Erie, PA. Cocktails & Color events were originally held at local bars and restaurants in the area, but within the year a large, open studio space became the main venue location.

With eight different artists creating and teaching, every class is an opportunity to learn a new style or technique. Couples’ events, Mommy & Me classes, and Paint Your Pet lessons are a few of the unique canvas painting options offered. In a typical month, the studio will host between 15-30 public and private events – many of those being fundraisers. To date Cocktails & Color has raised more than $150,000 for a variety of different organizations.
With canvas painting still being very popular, in 2017 the studio added some new painting classes to the mix. Fluid Art, mandalas, and wooden door hangers are just a few of the latest offerings.

This past September, wanting to share the love of painting with as many people as possible, Cocktails & Color launched its brand new online monthly painting membership called the VIPs (Very Important Painters). Members receive two fully-recorded painting tutorials each month as well as technique videos that correlate with the paintings. A private Facebook group for the members is also part of the program and has been a fun way for the VIPs to interact and share their completed projects with each other.

For more information please see the Cocktails & Color website check them out on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.