Painting With A Twist Eyes Tampa For Next Store

The concept of creating art as entertainment may simply conjure images of watching a dance performance or a Shakespearean play. But given the chance, how many spectators want to be artists?

If the fact that Painting With A Twist franchise owners Marvin and Leslie Gay are looking to open their second store in Tampa Bay is any indication, many do. Marvin and Leslie have been at their current location at 2527 Central Avenue in the Grand Central Business District of downtown St. Pete since August 2009.

"We have a lot of requests for a store in Tampa," Leslie says. "The St. Pete community has been very accepting of us and seems to enjoy and appreciate what artists do from attending our classes."

Here's what a night out at Painting With A Twist is like: Participants bring wine and food to share, and are provided an easel, apron, paint and palette. A professional artist leads the class in creating a painting step by step. At the end, participants leave with a painting of their own creation. The franchise started in Louisiana under the name Corks N Canvas. And the concept caught on. Soon Corks N Canvas began franchising under the Painting With A Twist brand.

"This is a fun business," says Leslie. "I would have never gone back into business for myself if it wasn't so fun for the customers and me. People are here to experience something that is out of their comfort zone. I painted the first time at a store in New Orleans and had no experience other than painting a wall. But it's a social event. We encourage people to bring a bottle of wine or a beverage of their choice. We call it liquid courage for those intimidated by a blank canvas."

Writer: Missy Kavanaugh
Source: Leslie Gay, Painting With A Twist
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