Queens’ first Painting with a Twist location has grand opening on June 5

Photo courtesy of Felecia Singh

Art and wine and beer enthusiasts will soon be able to enjoy all three at the same time in Queens.

June 5 marks the grand open of Queens’ first Painting with a Twist location, where participants take part in an artist-guided painting lesson while enjoying glasses of wine and beer.

Felecia and Kumar Singh are the owners of Painting with a Twist at 97-14 Metropolitan Ave. in Forest Hills. The studio had its soft opening on May 24, and Felicia Singh said the customer response has been positive.

She praised the skill of the local artists who lead the classes and said that they have even made painting and art accessible to people “who haven’t picked up a paint brush since kindergarten.”

The Ozone Park resident said that all customers who bought a spot for a class during their soft opening were automatically entered in a raffle to win a free class for themselves and one friend. The winner for the raffle will be announced on June 21.

Singh said she was inspired to open her own Painting with a Twist location after a date night with her husband at the Staten Island studio. That night, the store was having a “Paint with a Purpose” event, where 50 percent of the proceeds went to the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer. She became inspired by the warmth and welcoming nature of the owners at the Staten Island outpost, and told her husband that she saw herself running a business of her own.

The Painting with a Twist franchise was founded by Louisiana residents Cathy Deano and Renee Maloney following Hurricane Katrina. According to the website, the women wanted to do their part to rebuild their community and “give people a place to relax, unwind and get creative.”

Before deciding to open her location in Forest Hills, Singh said that she and her husband made a trip down to Louisiana to meet with the founders, and was encouraged by the women’s “open and loving” attitude toward her.

The price of a class is $35 for two hours and $45 for three hours, and the maximum size of a single class is 38 people. Singh said that they have a wide selection of alcohol available, including Cabernet, Merlot, Moscato, Pinots, sangria, Champagne and domestic and imported beers. She added that drinking alcohol brings a different element to the painting experience.

“It loosens inhibitions and people are more willing to go with the flow,” she said.

For special occasions like birthdays, Singh said they have been giving out a drink on the house to the guest of honor. On Father’s Day, she said they would be serving special “manmosas” to the dads taking part in a class. In addition to alcoholic beverages, Singh said that they also serve non-alcoholic beverages and various things to munch on, including chips and a fruit and cheese platter.

Singh said the atmosphere of her Painting with a Twist store is “like a dinner party, but more of a party.”

About halfway through a class, she said that the class takes a collective “dry break” during which everyone sets their painting aside to dry. While they wait, Singh said that people can socialize, and participate in a dance session and raffle.

The Painting with a Twist studio officially opens on June 5. From 5 to 7 p.m. the studio is open to the public, and a ribbon-cutting will take place at 5:30. Following the open session, an invite-only event will happen from 7 to 9 p.m., during which participants will be able to see how a real class operates. For more information, visit their website or Facebook page.

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