As the doors open for the AC Hub’s Paint Nite, artist Mario C makes final touches to his playlist, adjusts his microphone and explains his two simple rules for the evening;
“Rule 1. Don’t drink from the paintbrush cup. Rule 2. Have fun! Have a great time! This is not class!”
With those ground rules out of the way, 20 students from a variety of programs join Mario C (as he goes by through the Paint Nite website) for a night of painting and drinking.
Paint Nite, a company made up of visual artists, has gained major popularity across North American cities. It appeals to those looking for a unique, chill and social evening with friends, family or dates.
Amateur painters are encouraged to participate and explore their creative side with tools provided by Paint Nite.
“I personally find it relaxing and cool that we get to learn a new skill. I suck at painting, but it’s so basic when you’re actually doing it step-by-step so that’s why I like it,” says Megan Maloney, a second-year photography student.
She is not alone. A little over half of the participants have gone to a number of Paint Nites around the city once or twice before.
The newcomers, on the other hand, are very candid about their hesitation. By the end of the event, however, most are asking for advice and comparing paintings.
Their new-found artistic confidence, perhaps improved by the alcohol, is palpable through laughter and chatter.
“The drinking and painting and partying feeling all at the same time makes Paint Nite so popular. People just want to have fun and forget about everything,” Mario says.