Families

He ‘can’t draw a stick figure,’ but his Bellingham company wants to give kids a painting experience

Karen Andrews and her daughter Kaitlyn Andrews, 8, dry a portrait of a unicorn at the new location of Uptown Art studio at 800 Harris Ave., No. 101 in the Fairhaven District of Bellingham, Thursday, April 13.
Karen Andrews and her daughter Kaitlyn Andrews, 8, dry a portrait of a unicorn at the new location of Uptown Art studio at 800 Harris Ave., No. 101 in the Fairhaven District of Bellingham, Thursday, April 13. pdwyer@bhamherald.com

Robert Mishkin acknowledges he is one of those people “who can’t draw a stick figure.” Yet, in December 2013, he opened an art studio, Uptown Art, in Bellingham.

The idea was born in Nashville in 2011, when he and his date visited a sip-and-paint studio. As he found himself moving to Bellingham, he recalled that date.

“While driving across country, I thought about my paint-and-sip experience and thought, ‘This thing should work in Bellingham, an art-centric community in its own right, a university town, and with discretionary income,’” Mishkin said.

The studio caters to both adults and children.

Question: What is a Kid’s Event at Uptown Art?

Answer: It is a stress-free and zero-pressure painting experience. The event is held in a warm, fun and authentic painting studio inspiring the child to enjoy the process of creating his/her own masterpiece. Each event is led by an art instructor, who will guide the child, step-by-step and brush stroke-by-brush stroke, through the painting.

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Making a painting of a unicorn at the new location of Uptown Art studio at 800 Harris Ave., #101in the Fairhaven District of Bellingham, Thursday, April 13. Philip A. Dwyer pdwyer@bhamherald.com

Q: What should I wear?

A: While aprons are provided, Mishkin recommends painters wear something they wouldn’t mind getting paint on – just in case the paint misses the apron. Uptown Art is not responsible for any paint damage.

Q: What do I need to bring?

A: Bring an open mind, creativity and a sense of adventure; they provide everything else.

Q: Can we bring the painting home with us?

A: The studio uses acrylic paints and when necessary, hair dryers to make sure the painting is dry and ready to take home at the end of the event

Q: Can Mom and/or Dad come?

A: Parents are welcome to stay while their child paints. However, Mishkin said, it is his experience that it seems to be a better experience for the child when Mom and Dad are not sitting with the child in the same studio.

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Raegan Wheeler, 8, left, Kaitlyn Andrews, 8, and Kaityn's mom, Karen Andrews, paint portraits of a unicorn at the new location of Uptown Art studio at 800 Harris Ave., No. 101 in the Fairhaven District of Bellingham, Thursday, April 13. The paint and sip art studio is having an open house at 3 p.m. on Thursday, April 27. Philip A. Dwyer pdwyer@bhamherald.com

Q: What is the cost of a kid’s event at Uptown Art?

A: The price is $17.50. The cost includes an 11-inch by 14-inch pre-stretched canvas, paints and use of brushes, easel and an apron.

Q: How do we register for an event?

A: There are two ways to find the kid’s calendar on line: uptownart.com/bellingham or sites.cimplebox.com/events/calendar.aspx?c=2402&s=6915

Once there, you will be able to see the monthly calendar of events. Simply find a painting you like, click on it and then follow the prompts to register.

Q: What is the kid’s age range?

A: It depends on the child, but events are geared for kids between the ages of 6 and 14.

Q: How long does an event last?

A: Kid’s calendar events are 90 minutes long.

More information

For more on Uptown Art, visit their website at uptownart.com/bellingham.

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