In 2003, underwater overachiever Robbie Bogan embarked on a new endeavor would have him regularly shifting back and forth between the thrill of exploring shipwrecks to the gravity of teaching CPR and marine rescue techniques. The experienced cofounder of Upstate Scuba had created a scuba school that teaches both recreational scuba diving and tactical and emergency diving. As a result, the people who frequent the Upstate facility comprise a diverse student body.
First-timers arrive and are soon dunked into the pool during Try Scuba courses; search-and-rescue personnel often show up for instruction on the latest underwater navigation or night diving. The curriculum includes opportunities to gain certification, which can be used to participate in Upstate Scuba's open-water trips to nearby lakes. As dealers of top-notch equipment, Robbie also teachs divers safe use of breathing apparatuses and how to scare away sharks by impersonating Steven Spielberg.
Behind a stone-brick exterior, staff artisans supply guests with everything they need to paint masterworks on coffee mugs, knickknacks, and space-shuttle insulation tiles. Amid shelves lined with white ceramic pieces and cheerful orange walls, they also help guests fuse glass or paint canvases during classes that evoke inspiration from a featured painting. Guests with appointments, walk-ins, and birthday parties are all welcome to the cheerful Glazed space, where they can spend time being creative individually or with friends.
At The Cabernet Canvas, a staff of artists unleashes its visions onto blank canvases, creating gallery pieces such as an autumn field under a full moon, a wintry cityscape, or a sailboat traversing the sea at dusk. However, visitors to the art establishment can do more than gaze at the artwork—they can select one of the paintings to replicate during casual BYOB sessions, adding touches such as a third eye on a regal bengal tiger. Visitors can also join The Cabernet Canvas in giving back to the community, donating funds to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation or becoming a partner in local charity work.