Nightlife: Spirits and splattered colors

Anna Hoover

Fort Collins is a great supporter of the arts, between their painted pianos and productions across the city, so it’s no surprise that “drinking art studios” have popped up in several locations to allow FoCo citizens to express themselves through art while enjoying a drink or two.

Thursday night’s painting class (Photo Courtesy of Painting with a Twist)



I had heard about places where you could go through an art piece step-by-step with a group while drinking wine or beer and decided it needed to be experienced. I grabbed my sister and we went to Painting with a Twist, near Lemay and Harmony, for a night out painting with a drink. It took a few mishaps to get there, but it was worth it!

To start the evening, we ended up at the wrong painting studio, landing us at Pinot’s Palette, a “drinking art studio” in Old Town. Although this place had a great atmosphere and was really nice, our reservations took us to Painting with a Twist instead. Both places have some fantastic art pieces, and you can sign up for classes to learn how to paint while you sip on a variety of drinks at each.

Art pieces used for classes (Photo Courtesy of Painting with a Twist)


“While I liked the atmosphere at the [Pinot’s Palette] place better, Painting with a Twist was a lot of fun and the instructor was encouraging and enthusiastic,” said my sister, Rebecca.

Painting with a Twist had wine, beers, mimosas and other drinks to choose from. There are soft drinks available, and minors are welcomed to come paint with everyone else. Although we didn’t get drinks, there were several requests for beer and wine refills throughout the class. Since our class was relatively small, the instructor was also our bartender.

Thursday night’s class work in progress (Anna Hoover | Collegian)


We got there half an hour late, but we quickly got caught up and had a blast. Since we’re both Disney fans, we appreciated the Beauty and the Beast reference in the stained glass rose. The whole class was only two hours, but this painting was simple enough to make it possible to finish within the class period even minus the first half hour. For those that don’t finish, you can have a few hours on Saturday mornings for finishing, touch ups or to fix mistakes.

Game mid-project to win prizes (Anna Hoover | Collegian)


Halfway through the class, the instructor took a break to play a game with us. It was like Russian Roulet with a coin. He flipped a coin, which bounced all over the room and was entertaining in itself, and we went around, flipping it until there was a winner. The winner got to spin a wheel for a variety of free prizes.

There were so many different people there that it was fun to chit chat and compare artwork. If you wanted to bring a large group, it would be so much fun to play with the art design and make it your own. Private groups are welcome and can choose any art piece they want to learn.


The instructors are laid back and not afraid of letting guests deviate from the original piece and making it their own. Our instructor mentioned one class where it was two art majors and his mom; he taught his mom how to paint a tree while the other two painted a llama and a deer.

Anna and Rebecca Hoover’s finished projects (Anna Hoover | Collegian)


All said and done, we both had a great time and really liked how our pieces turned out–so much so we had to take our picture with them next to Fabio. I would definitely recommend going with a group of friends, let loose and splatter some color on a canvas, with a glass of wine of course.

Nightlife writer Anna Hoover can be reached at or on Twitter @Hoovanna17. Leave a comment!!