Art classes at unWINE’d at Mellie Macs are popular

Barbara Hootman

Art classes at unWINE’d at Mellie Mac’s in Black Mountain may be more “fun” art than fine art. But boy, are they fun.

Lindsey Curtin leads Joyce Pemberton, Rusty Miller and Jenna Hernandez (not visible) on a recent night of painting at unWINE'd at Mellie Mac's.

Coordinated by artists (and sisters) Chesley and Lindsey Curtin, the semi-monthly events offer participants the opportunity to play with art while having fun over a glass of something cool. The sessions are accompanied by a live jazz band.

Chesley and Lindsey Curtin moved to Black Mountain last year and, ready to pursue their love of art, suggested the idea of a night of painting at unWINE’d. Not only are they artists, but the sisters often take a turn at tending bar at unWINE’d at Mellie Mac’s.

Chesley was living in Florida and working as a freelance illustrator and teaching painting classes. Lindsey was teaching kindergarten through 12th-grade art classes in West Virginia. They decided to move to Asheville and then chose to relocate to Black Mountain since they were more attuned to nature than urban life.

Lindsey holds a master’s degree in art education and a bachelor’s degree in fine arts. Chesley graduated from Ringling College of Art and Design in Florida. She is still employed by Painting with a Twist, a make-art-and-socialize company that started in New Orleans and spread throughout the United States.

People at the unWINE'd art classes don’t have to have any training, just the desire to paint a picture while they sip a beverage and have fun. During the first event, the Curtins helped people create a floral painting. On another night, they focused on creating a landscape.

The sisters are open to suggestions about what residents of the Valley want to paint. They hope to hold the events among the plants and flowers at Mellie Mac’s Garden Shack, the bar’s next door neighbor. They also plan to spend one evening painting a Lake Tomahawk scene.

Lindsey said they have had only compliments and no complaints from participants.

Mellie Bryant, owner of unWINE’d at Mellie Mac’s, was intrigued with the idea of combining art with a beverage from the bar.

“I wasn’t even aware that (nights of painting) were a popular outing in a lot of places,” Bryant said. “I thought it would blend well with the live jazz band that we have, and decided to give it a try.”

The art evening cost $35 and includes a glass of wine or a pint of beer, as well as all art supplies, and instruction. To reserve seats, call 669-5727 or email The Curtins said the evening is a great way to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries and other special events.

The art classes at unWINE’d at Mellie Mac’s is 6:30-8:30 p.m. the first Thursday and third Saturday of the month.