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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Drink to your art’s content

    Savannah Douglas
    Savannah Douglas / The Daily Wildcat Katrina Davis (lleft) and Terra Halloran (right) listen for advice on how to paint their wine canvas pieces at the Creative Arts Juice Bar during the “All About Wine Wednesday” night this week. Davis and Halloran were able to play wine trivia and have wine sampling with the group of friends they attended with.

    At the Creative Juice Art Bar, not only can you drink your wine — you can paint it, too.

    When Chellie Krajnak, an elementary school teacher, and Kristina Valencia, an art teacher, wanted a change of pace, the two decided to collaborate and build off a concept they had seen in Denver that incorporated two of their favorite things: art and wine. They brought the idea to Arizona, and the two created Tucson’s original art bar.

    “She’s the creative; I’m the juice,” Krajnak said about their partnership. “She creates almost all of the paintings, and I do the business and the wine. It works well together.”

    Nearly every space on the walls of Creative Juice is adorned with one of Valencia’s paintings, all of which she teaches to artists young and old with experience from amateur to expert. The paintings include detailed landscapes of the Sonoran Desert, adorable animals and UA-themed works. Valencia talks through each of the paintings step-by-step, but it’s up to those participating whether they want to follow her instructions or create a masterpiece of their own.

    Though their selection of wine and beer may factor in, Krajnak and Valencia have created an environment in which anyone can feel comfortable unleashing their inner artist. On their adult Paint and Sip nights, guests come in and grab drinks before grabbing aprons and paint palettes from the paint bar. There are plates of cheese and fruit laid out on each of the tables to snack on. When Valencia begins walking through that night’s painting, there’s ample time to paint and chat with those they came with. At the end of a long day or week, Creative Juice gives guests an outlet for their creativity, which Krajnak said some people call “better than therapy.”

    “It’s very therapeutic,” Krajnak said. “You come in here, paint, don’t think about anything — and even just mixing colors and putting paint on a canvas is a comforting kind of thing.”

    Krajnak admitted that the adults are usually the most timid when coming in and painting for the first time but said that the fear quickly melts away.

    Debbie Spohn, a Tucson resident, brought her daughter Elizabeth Spohn, a UA marketing sophomore, to a Creative Juice art class for Christmas. She had only watched her daughter paint the night’s trio of wine bottle paintings. She said that although she doesn’t find herself artistically inclined like her daughter, she is already planning on coming back to create her own painting.

    “It’s relaxing,” Elizabeth Spohn said. “It’s hard because I’m really detail oriented, but at the same time, it’s nice to step out of your comfort zone and do something different.”

    Debbie Spohn said that if her own painting didn’t turn out as she hoped, she would just buy one of Valencia’s paintings from previous classes that are on sale in the lobby. 

    “All of [the paintings] are simple enough that anyone can do them,” Elizabeth Spohn said. “They look like they’re really intricate, but the way they show how to do them makes it seem easy.”

    Aside from Creative Juice’s night classes during the week, it also offers Family Fun Days once a month, where families can come in for a two-hour guided painting lesson. Creative Juice also takes part in the monthly Tucson tradition of Second Saturdays by offering painting and cooking classes just for kids. There are also opportunities for private birthday parties and off-site events, as well as date night paintings that are made by putting together two separate canvases.

    Both Krajnak and Valencia promoted their Cosmic Night as an event geared toward the university crowd.

    “We black out the whole place, paint by blacklight with glow-in-the-dark paint and have a DJ,” Krajnak said. “It’s more party painting that sometimes turns into a dance party.”

    All of Creative Juice Art Bar’s nightly classes are $35, which includes the cost of paint, a canvas, brushes and a drink.
    “If you want it, we’ll probably paint it,” Krajnak said. “We’re just here to have fun and relax.”


    Follow Mia Moran on Twitter.

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