It’s not your typical Friday night hanging at a bar. No loud DJ nor crowded room with people pushing to get a drink, but it is BYOB. However, there is no cramming each other yelling over each other, but laughter, curiosity, and eagerness fills the room.
Adult painting parties are in.
The Giggling Pig, 472 River Road, offers them in Shelton, and there is one available Friday nights from 7 pm to 9:30 pm, offering a way to relax, socialize and try something new.
On May 13, Hanna Perry, owner of the Giggling Pig, invited the Herald to observe a painting party.
The night consisted of thirteen budding artist, seven women and six men, eager to learn and have a good time. They came with their wives and husbands, their BFFs or best buddies, and some even come alone, seeking something different, something unique, and something fun.
The adult painting classes started four years ago. Perry said she started them for fun for her friends, but the class soon grew weekly. She said the largest class they’ve hosted was up to 120 people.
(Check out how Friday’s party went by watching the video shot by Tina Ugas below)
The Giggling Pig host girls-nights, baby showers, birthday parties and corporate events. They host the Friday night open class for anyone who would like to try painting for art and to socialize.
“I love to see everyone laughing and joking and walking out amazed at what they created,” Perry said. “There is certainly a therapeutic aspect to painting.” She also said she believes there are many benefits to painting.
“I do think that it’s extremely fun and cheaper than going to a restaurant,” Perry said. “It’s thirty five dollars, and you will have a three hour evening. You can bring your own snack. A lot of times they bring cheese or crackers and a bottle of wine. I think people really enjoy it because it’s almost like being in school and having fun in art”
She said she believes people are looking for something new, especially with it being popular as a girls-night-out. However, it also is nice for a date night.
Painting during the Friday night consist of each person sitting in front of a canvas with small cups of paints, paint brushes, and water at the table. Anyone attending can take the class based on the picture posted online for that night, which is on the studio website. Everyone paints the same picture, and there is no pressure to be competitive or perfect.
Before the class begins, everyone signs that they agree to drink responsibly. She said usually the women tend to bring wine, and men will bring a beer, but it’s a matter of preference regardless of gender. On May 13, some women preferred a beer and some of the men drank wine; others didn’t drink any alcohol but preferred ice tea or even water. It’s the shared experience of learning art that matters.
Perry said the art teachers teach painting techniques, along with how to use each brush so art skills can be used at home. However, everyone walks away with one finished piece of art.
Perry has been passionate about art enrichment since she was a child and came to the U.S.A. in 1999. She said she opened her first Giggling Pig Art and Party Studio in 2011. She also said she has a loyal and hardworking staff.
The two art teachers are Lana Pirulli,a graduate of Paier College of Art, and Ally Loh, a graduate of the University of Arts in Philadelphia. Loh taught the class on May 13. She discussed how she started to work for the Giggling Pig.
“I saw an article, I believe in the Shelton Herald, and it was about Hannah doing a show for Sandy Hook, and I emailed her and told her that I wanted to be involved,” Loh said.
She said she painted at the Sandy Hook show and then started working for the Giggling Pig afterwards. She commented on why she thinks painting parties are a success and popular now.
“Every week people come. We know they’re not painters; we know they are coming just to have fun, but you would be so shocked at the skills you learn week by week, definitely my regulars that come,” Loh said.”All of a sudden, you are holding a brush differently; you’re doing a little bit more detail you never would have done before; and also, there’s a soothing and calming effect. I can’t tell you how many times people leave here saying, ‘I feel so relax. I feel like I did something productive with my evening.’”
To attend a painting party or to take other art classes at the Giggling Pig, call (203) 919-1153 or go online at gigglingpigartstudio.com. You can email the studio at firstname.lastname@example.org