Painting gives humans a necessary outlet for imagination, which if not released, can manifest itself into a date-ruining desire to sculpt a self-portrait of mashed potatoes. Use your imagination responsibly with today's Groupon: for $40, you get a "Bottles n' Paint" BYOB painting class for two at SunDust Gallery in Mesa (an $80 value). Classes are held on most Friday and Saturday evenings throughout the summer.
During two-hour BYOB painting lessons, students laugh, chat, and sip beer or wine while beautifying 16" x 20" blank canvases. Fermented refreshments help unlock painters' creative cortexes as they're guided by simple step-by-step instructions from a friendly, professional artist. During each class, students create personalized versions of the same painting—whether it's a stunning sunset, a sad clown, or a sad clown being stunned by a sunset. Painting pupils are outfitted with all necessary materials including paint, brushes, corkscrews, cups, and snacks. After the class, painters depart with works of art suitable for dressing up empty mantels or decorating enormous scrapbooks.
Participants should arrive 15–20 minutes before class to relax, socialize, and prime painting pistons. Before classes begin, students can seek inspiration by perusing SunDust Gallery's collection of works from more than 130 local artists and several highly trained local computers. The gallery is nestled in Historic Old Town Mesa near the Mesa Arts Center, the Arizona Museum for Youth, and an assemblage of restaurants, bistros, and coffee shops.
SunDust Art Gallery
SunDust Art Gallery is truly a family-run operation—Ron Floyd, a retired university art professor and a recognized abstract artist, opened the 5,000-square-foot gallery with the help of his wife Mary Lou Floyd and son Chris Floyd. Opened in 2009, the studio's initial goal was to provide the Southwest's eclectic and often-unnoticed artists a home, and today it has grown to encompass a gallery collection that regularly features many such artists and mediums for which the region is well known, such as sculpture, jewelry, and photography. Throughout his long career as an art professor, Ron learned to teach students how to overcome artistry's intricacies, and he now operates out of SunDust's studios with accessible painting and drawing classes.