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Plans in works for West Lawrence bar that will let patrons create artwork while they drink
The only question now is whether I become the next Picasso or the next Van Gogh. (My wife says I already remind her of Van Gogh. I only hear about half of what she says.) But surely my art skills are destined to soar because Lawrence soon will have a new business that combines making art and drinking liquor.
Painted Kanvas, a new paint party studio and bar, is set to open this spring in the shopping center at Bob Billings Parkway and Wakarusa Drive. But perhaps you are like me and think that when you combine paint and liquor, it usually either leads to a free mug shot courtesy of Douglas County or an awkward conversation about how a self-portrait of your derriere ended up on the living room wall.
But Painted Kanvas co-owner Chelsea Rose told me this concept is different. Area artists will lead patrons of the establishment in creating a painting over the course of about two to three hours. Patrons will be able to purchase fine Kansas wines and beers and other beverages while they create their own personal masterpiece.
"They don't have to have ever picked up a paint brush or a drawing pencil," said Rose, who co-owns the business with Dan Rose. "The artist will go stroke by stroke, and there will be plenty of time for the artist to assist people individually."
Plans call for all the artists to be local, and Rose already has begun to select some of the artwork that will be created. The business has a website where its patrons can see what painting is scheduled to be taught on any particular night.
Rose said current plans call for patrons to pay a $35 to $40 instruction fee, depending on the painting, plus whatever drinks people choose to purchase. Patrons get to keep the artwork they create.
The concept of guided art parties has begun to take off in many cities, including Kansas City and even Topeka. But Rose said Painted Kanvas — the 'K' is to emphasize the Kansas theme of the business — will be unique because it has a liquor license. Many other art party establishments don't serve liquor but instead allow you to bring your own bottle of wine, for instance.
"I went to one of the places in Kansas City, and I just thought Lawrence would eat this up," Rose said.
The business plans to be open Tuesday through Saturday for events open to the public, but Rose said she also wants to host a variety of themed events and private parties. She said she will work to attract corporate outings, and also can arrange for a kid-friendly painting for a birthday party, for example. Catering services also can be arranged, she said.
An opening date hasn't been set, but construction is underway. Rose said she hopes to have the business open sometime in March.
That's fine. That will give me time to practice — and also to scrub on this living room wall.
In other news and notes from around town:
• Even when there is not painting involved, Lawrence loves a good gathering built around beer. As I reported earlier this week, tickets for the third annual Kansas Craft Brewers Exposition in downtown Lawrence went on sale Wednesday evening. Last year, tickets for the event sold out in about 45 minutes. But organizers made some changes to the event for this year, including adding a second session, which essentially doubled the number of tickets available. Event organizers recently provided me an update on ticket sales: This year they sold out in 40 minutes. (To clarify, that's how long it took to sell out online, where the majority of the tickets were available. There may be a ticket or two left at one of the several breweries in the area selling tickets. No guarantees on that, but the worst that happens is you end up at a brewery.)
There are worse problems to have than your event selling out within a matter of minutes, but expo organizer Chuck Magerl of Free State Brewery said organizers are looking for ways to make it easier to buy tickets in the future.
• UPDATE: Make what you will of this, but a WOW spokeswoman got back in touch with me this afternoon and said the paid legal notice that ran in yesterday's paper was premature on WOW's part. "WOW is negotiating retransmission renewal with KSNT's owner," spokeswoman Erica Stull told me in an e-mail. Negotiations are ongoing." So, it sounds like an issue to keep an eye on, but not one that has been settled.
It looks like Lawrence residents soon will have one less opportunity to keep up on our friends in Topeka. A small notice appeared in the classified section of the Journal-World yesterday announcing that in March WOW will stop carrying the Topeka NBC affiliate KSNT on the cable system. (To be clear, the notice doesn't say who is announcing this — WOW, KSNT or some other party — but I'm reaching out to the officials at WOW.) KSNT is channel 8 and channel 208 on the cable dial. That will leave Kansas City's KSHB — channel 14 and 214 on the cable dial — as the only NBC affiliate on WOW's system. It also means that of the three big network affiliates in Topeka, only the CBS affiliate of WIBW remains on the Lawrence cable system.(Topeka's PBS station is also on the system.) I haven't yet received word from WOW on the reasons behind the pending change, but nationally cable operators and local television stations have sparred frequently over the fees cable operators pay the stations for the right to carry the stations on their systems. According to the notice, March 4 is set to be the last day for KSNT on the WOW system. It is worth noting, though, that it has been announced before that KSNT was going to be dropped from the system, and then negotiations led to it staying on the system. So, we'll see what happens. I'll let you know when I hear more.