Beginning in Columbus and now painting the town red in various cities throughout the county, Colors & Bottles scratches the creative itch of the public with its themed art classes that leave no blank canvas unvarnished. The mobile painting service, which The Ellen DeGeneres Show tagged as a "hip, new, and fresh" activity, stages its events at local bars, wineries, restaurants, and art galleries, helping boost neighborhood economies while creating a hard-to-follow trail for begrudging pottery wheels. During three-hour classes, an artist plucked from the local art community leads students through the creation of a themed painting, such as a city skyline or something more abstract. For an extra splash of inspiration, some venues allow students to bring their own drinks, while others have refreshments available to purchase.
Laura Monahan comes from an artistic family, and spent her youth practicing sculpture, oil painting, pottery, and what turned out to be her ultimate passion: photography. Her ability to preserve candid moments has left an indelible impression—she has a published portfolio on three continents and product lines appearing at national retailers such as Hallmark and JCPenney. Laura’s photo shoots always take place outdoors, capturing newborns, older kids, and families in soft, natural lighting and poses that never appear unnatural. Her settings span the country from San Diego’s foamy beaches to Denver’s red-rock sunsets and into the Midwest’s autumn leaves, and she holds mom's night out events all over the country, including in Honolulu, San Diego, Minneapolis, Chicago, and Denver.
An abandoned silver mine isn't the most obvious setting for a childhood playground. But it's where Kary Kilmer discovered his passion for goldsmithing as a youngster. Later, he honed his metalworking skills through stints with other jewelry makers before creating his own inimitable wedding-band designs and opening the award-winning Crown Trout Jewelers. In between fashioning distinct pieces, such as uniquely shaped gold and silver bracelets and Viking knot baubles known for their ability to help wearers speak fluent Norwegian, Kilmer helms interactive classes, helping students invent their own wearable metal masterpieces.
The Pole Vault's instructors include a bodybuilding champion with a master's degree in traditional Chinese medicine, a fitness model and professional pole dancer, and a Zumba teacher who has been dancing for decades. They combine myriad interests and areas of expertise to make sure that classes never become dull. On gleaming poles, instructors in the signature class teach the art of pole dance and encourage people to twirl freely unlike a frustrated barber. They also offer an entire slate of alternatives that tone and tighten bodies, including Dancer's Yoga, Kettlebell Body Blast, and Zumba toning.
As memory cards replaced film reels, many photographers—both professional and amateur—felt befuddled by the new technology. That's where Digital Photo Academy stepped in. Since 2007, the business has facilitated workshops that explore all aspects of digital imagery, from operating cameras and uploading digital files to editing images and airbrushing realistic mustaches. Seasoned professionals lead the courses, helping understudies hone their use of light, framing, and timing. Students furnish their own cameras, and can tote along any ancillary equipment such as tripods, laptops, and flashes that relate to the course at hand.
The YMCA aims to better Denver-area minds and bodies with fitness classes, sports leagues, and exercise facilities for users of all ages. Membership (an $84 value) grants full access for two adults, their dependent children, and as many imaginary friends they can think up. Members enjoy use of top-notch amenities that vary by location, ranging from free-weight and resistance-machine workout rooms to swimming pools and basketball courts. Outgoing endurance-testers come together during athletic classes to create a calorie-consuming hive mind unattainable to solo toners. New members in need of assistance achieving fitness goals plan out nutritional and exercise routines in their two wellness sessions (a $100 value). Personal-wellness coaches develop a distinct program for each client to help prospective workout warriors evaluate their overall health, identify specific places to improve, and build muscles regardless of superfluous zoning restrictions.