Pinot’s Palette brings art to the masses in Fairborn, Dayton Mall area

Until a pivotal moment, Tonya Shine didn’t believe she had an ounce of artistic talent. Straight lines and stick figures, yes. Vividly colorful paintings worthy of hanging on walls, no way. That changed when, as a birthday gift that October evening, her friends threw her a party at Pinot’s Palette, where the group of women drank wine, socialized and created masterpieces under the instruction of a local artist.

“This has become my newfound love. I’m addicted to the experience,” Shine said with a laugh. “It is a relaxing time among friends and family, and when the painting is finished, I look at it and say, ‘Wow, I did that?’ I always leave in awe knowing that I transformed a blank canvas into a colorful work of art.”

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Karen Doggett understands Shine’s fondness for Pinot’s Palette, a paint-and-sip studio located in the Village at Dayton Mall. Sessions include Open Studio Days, Mimosa Morning on Saturdays, Family Day, Date Night, Mother’s Day Mommy & Me and charitable events like the Autism Society Fundraiser as well as private parties for special occasions such as birthdays, bridal showers and bachelorette parties.

Here’s how sessions at Pinot’s Palette typically work. A local artist teaches a group of people how to replicate a canvas painting in two or three hours. The painters can bring their own food. Wine and beer are available at the venue’s bar. Music plays while guests paint and socialize.

Doggett, who worked in hospitality management and training for 20-plus years, first learned about the paint-and-sip studio concept a few years ago.

“My daughter in North Carolina told me she had recently attended a painting party. I thought she meant that she went over to a friend’s house and helped paint a living room wall,” Doggett said with a smile. “Once she told me about the night out, I did some research, saw there was nothing like this in Dayton, and gathered a group of friends for a paint-and-sip experience in Cincinnati. It quickly became one of my favorite activities, so I started looking into opening one here in the Dayton area.”

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Doggett was impressed with the concept and support of Pinot’s Palette, which is based in Houston, Texas. She opened the Village at Dayton Mall location with her daughter-in-law, Erica. Doggett’s husband, Dale, and son, Kyle, provide support when needed. Like Karen, Erica has become proficient at creating paintings.

“What is especially interesting about any of our sessions is that everyone is painting the same picture, but the end result reflects their own creative interpretation,” Erica Doggett said. “It represents a fun and unique night out that is different than just meetings friends for drinks at a restaurant. Here, we have the ambiance of art and music, the socialization among people you know and others that you don’t know but who become friends, and the gratification of leaving with a painting that you made with your own hands and your own mind.”

The Doggett family opened a second Pinot’s Palette location last September at 2610 Col. Glenn Highway in Fairborn, across from Wright State University. The 4,100-square-foot facility includes a black light feature in the private party room for use with florescent paint. Kim Akemon, a longtime family friend of the Doggetts, serves as the studio manager.

“It amazes me how people channel a creative side they did not know they had,” Akemon said. “You never know what you can accomplish in the right atmosphere with friends around you, and a professional artist guiding you every step of the way.”

To date, Doggett says the locations have raised more than $25,000 for charities through Painting It Forward fundraising events and donations. The family is striving to reach an ultimate goal of $20,000 a year in charitable donations.

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Open Studio Days, which are held on Tuesday and Thursday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., are ideal for guests who are interested in a taste of the Pinot’s Palette experience. Though it is not staffed with an artist who offers step-by-step instruction like most sessions, a manager or artist instructor is on hand for assistance with self-guided paintings.

Pinot’s Palette is also a popular destination for corporate events like team building sessions, holiday events and staff meetings. Pinot’s Palette provides the canvas, easel, brushes, paints, apron, plates, plastic ware and napkins.  Guests bring non-alcoholic drinks and/or appetizers. The full-service bar offers beer and wine.

“What I especially like about what we do at Pinot’s Palette is that we bring art to the masses,” Karen Doggett said. “If you did not give the concept of art a second thought before your first experience at Pinot’s Palette, after you leave you start seeing the potential for art everywhere you look. A tree is not just a tree. It is a painting with endless possibilities.”

For a full schedule of themed events, and more information about Pinot’s Palette, visit www.pinotspalette.com/miamisburg and www.pinotspalette.com/fairborn.

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