Creativity Unleashed

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A group of Westbury residents are putting a twist on the ever-popular Paint Nite events, to give locals a night out on the town while they unleash their inner artists.

The Post Avenue Painting Lounge, which debuts July 30 at His and Hers Lounge in Westbury, is the brainchild of Patty Eljaiek, Joe Moran and Julie Lyon, who wanted to provide locals a space for “social art working.”

The classes are led by Eljaiek, a professional artist and teacher. While the classes hold onto some of the fundamentals of a typical Paint Nite event—attendees enjoy cocktails while following an instructor’s directions to create a painting they can take home—the Post Avenue Painting Lounge takes the event a step further by giving each Thursday night workshop a dedicated theme.

Attendees will be fully immersed in the night’s theme, to help get their creative juices flowing.

"Midnight in Paris" is one of the themes of the painting nights.
“Midnight in Paris” is one of the themes of the painting nights.

“What we want to do is offer all [a Paint Nite offers] but on top of that make it an all-inclusive event,” Eljaiek said. “Each week is a theme. We’re choosing a playlist that goes with the theme so you’ll be inspired by the music and we worked with Miriam at His and Hers to come up with a specialty menu that ties in.”

For their Aug. 6 class for example, attendees will be painting hibiscus flowers and the whole event will have a tropical theme. Participants can sip on specialty cocktails like mojitos and feel inspired by the reggae music playing in the background. With Eljaiek’s artistic background, she can also provide valuable painting techniques so participants learn more about art.

“It’s not just about coming to paint,” Eljaiek said. “It’s about a whole event.”

The partnership with Miriam Hernandez at His and Hers was a valuable one said Eljaiek. When Moran, Eljaiek and Lyon were initially looking for a place to take their idea, they thought about renting a space but asked if anyone in the local area would be interested. Hernandez offered His and Hers, which has a back room that is perfect for the painting classes.

“There’s a lot of painting events, but I wanted to help do something local,” Hernandez said. “I thought it would be a fun thing that would bring in different people.”

PaintingLounge_072215BIf the painting lounge takes off, Eljaiek would love to hold classes beyond August and bring in different guests artists to teach techniques such as scrapbooking and sculpture. As of now, the Post Avenue Painting Lounge has five classes scheduled. The July 30 date is already booked up, and there are four dates throughout August open. Themes include midnight in Paris, California Dreamin’, a still life painting with flowers and the Montauk lighthouse.

You don’t have to be an art whiz to enjoy the painting lounge. According to Eljaiek, even the most novice painters can unleash their inner artist to create beautiful masterpieces.

“A lot of people think they’re not artists, but we really believe everyone is creative. Whether you manifest that by doing Sudoku or decorating your home or dressing yourself, you’re being creative,” Eljaiek said. “You don’t have to be an artist or have any artistic talent to do this. You just have to want to have fun and explore your creativity.”

Classes are $40 which includes a glass of wine, all supplies, paint, brushes, an apron and an 11” x 14” canvas. Attendees must be 21 and over to attend. Find out more at www.facebook.com/postavepaintlounge.

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