Art activity aims for adult amateurs afterhours

NEW YORK -- It's a new twist on girls' night out - think pinot noir and Picasso.

"Take the idea of teaching a class and putting it - really fun - in a bar environment," said Ariel Azani, owner of The Cupping Room Cafe in New York's SoHo neighborhood. "It spoke to me in a very interesting way."

Amateur artists learn the basics from a professional while bonding with friends.

"Going out for drinks or a movie can get a little boring sometimes," said Thao Nguyen. "We're in such an amazing city where there are a lot of things to do, so this is definitely a unique experience."

One thing is for sure - Paint Nite is popular. There were 25 events in New York City this week, and all of them were sold out up to month in advance.

"I've always actually wanted to do kind of arts and crafts, and I don't do them in my regular life, and this is a great way to learn how," Hoboken, N.J., resident Amanda Licastro said.

Launched in Boston 18 months ago by a pair of buddies at a party, Paint Nite is now in dozens of cities across the U.S.

A two-hour class costs $65. Wine and food are extra. The artist and the franchise split the profits.

"You drink, and you get to paint, and you get to bring home your end products," Paint Nite New York's Sonia Mamman said.

A souvenir of an artful evening.

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