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Making art, sipping wine at new business in downtown Modesto

The new Art Time & Sip Wine Studios in downtown Modesto, Calif. opened in March of this year. Artists with their paintings are pictured in the business.
The new Art Time & Sip Wine Studios in downtown Modesto, Calif. opened in March of this year. Artists with their paintings are pictured in the business. Art Time & Sip Wine

Susan Wagoner has the perfect background for her new business, Art Time and Sip Wine Studios, where you can master a painting while having a little libation: Before a career as an art teacher, she was a bartender.

When Wagoner retired from teaching, she wanted to do something new, but familiar. That led her to look at various “paint and sip” businesses. These have become quite popular in recent years, though most of them are done on a mobile basis, meeting at various restaurants and other locations.

Wagoner wanted to have a site where people could go for classes, taught by herself and other artists. It’s a similar approach to that taken by Rembrandt and Rose, which opened last year in Turlock.

In January, Wagoner opened Art Time and Sip Wine in downtown Modesto.

“I want to get people who have never painted before, and to get them interested in painting,” she said. “Maybe they’ll discover a talent they didn’t know they had, and it’ll bring new blood into the art scene downtown.”

It works like this: you go to the website, take a look at the pictures available, and select the one you want to paint. Then you sign up for a spot in that class.

Sessions last from two to four hours, and prices are $25 to $50 per class. And if you are someone like me, who has zero artistic talent, Wagoner says she can still work with you to create a masterpiece.

At the same time, she said, she enjoys working with people who are more experienced. She also offers team-building and other sessions.

“It’s great for birthday parties and bachelor parties,” she said. Because of the “Sip Wine” part of the business, attendees must be 21. They can purchase wine and beer — Wagoner said she’s focusing on craft brews — or bring their own and pay a corkage fee.

Maybe nobody will ask you to paint a chapel ceiling or one of the downtown murals, but Wagoner said people who come will have a great time and come away with a painting they are proud to hang in their home.

“It's fun and it's really a chance for people to ‘unwine’ and just relax in a really nice, stress-free environment,” Wagoner said.

Find Art Time and Sip Wine at 920 16th St., Modesto. Call 209-777-0129.


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