Painting the ‘nite’ away

“The goal is to make everyone happy. If they are smiling at the end [of the night], I’d say it’s a good thing.” said Bunting.

Photo by Heather Davidson
Photo by Heather Davidson

Painting can be an intimidating task for some. Often requiring years of experience and proficiency in how to handle equipment and techniques, it can be daunting and frustrating. Paint Nite is looking to change that.

Originally started in Boston by co-founders Sean McGrail and Dan Herman, the idea came to them after meeting at a bar trivia night and thought about the idea of a socially-inspired painting session. Currently in Canadian cities like Toronto, Montreal and Quebec City, Paint Nite is expanding to Waterloo.

Erin Bunting, a recent Wilfrid Laurier University graduate is the events manager and creativity coordinator for Paint Nite.

After moving out to Vancouver following graduation, she looked into a Paint Nite event to meet new people in the area.

“I went to one to meet new people, found out they were hiring and loved it so much I wanted to apply. I worked there for about four months and then moved back [to Ontario] and now I’m bringing it to Kitchener-Waterloo”.

Bunting believes her experience living in the region can help expand the Waterloo chapter of Paint Nite.

“I lived here when I was in university, so I honestly just thought of venues I remember going to, like Symposium. I knew they had an event room in the back, so I went to them.”

Bunting recalls  loving Wilf’s trivia nights because it was a “great way to be out at a bar while also doing something more.”

“Paint Nite is similar [to Wilf’s], so I figured it would be something that not only residents of K-W would enjoy, but especially students. It feels great to bring that opportunity to my university town.”

Bunting also pointed one of the things that attracted her to Paint Nite in Vancouver was her instructor.

She credits the enthusiasm and social aspect of the event she went to drawing her into getting more involved.

With groups sizes of around 30 people each event, Paint Nite strives to create a space in which people can create art in a social setting and not feel judged about it. Bunting said this comes from the confidence people get when going out to a Paint Nite event.

“I think some think of taking an art class, for example, and they are getting judged on it. Paint Nite is a way that no one judges you. I’m individually helping each person, trying to get them happy about their painting.”

“The goal is to make everyone happy. If they are smiling at the end [of the night], I’d say it’s a good thing.” said Bunting.

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