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Paint the Town, and a Creation of Your Own, at Cranston's Original Paint and Sip Studio

By Pamela Sosnowski

John Iacona believes that everyone has an inner artist itching to get out, even if they've never picked up a paintbrush before walking into his Cranston-based paint and sip studio, Paint the Town. Since launching the studio in 2015, Iacona and his staff have convinced hundreds of clients of all ages that if they can follow step-by-step instructions and flex a little creativity, then can paint a picture.

"The majority of our customers are first timers and we hear it all the time: I have no artistic ability at all," Iacona said. "When we hear that we tell them that they do have artistic ability, but they just don't know it and to keep a positive attitude. At the end of the session they are amazed at what they have created."

Paint the Town's classes take place in a cozy, friendly, judgment-free studio decorated with numerous colorful works of customer created pieces. For $35 a session ($25 for kids), clients receive the use of everything they need to create and bring home their very own custom work and also get to enjoy two complimentary beverages (including beer and wine for those 21 and older) and snacks during a class. Four or five different portrait themes are offered each week, with the subject matter ranging from landscapes to sports-themed paintings. As Iacona explains, students can feel free to experiment as they complete their painting.

"At Paint the Town we encourage everyone to express their own creativity," he said. "If they would like to change colors or if they would like to add something to their portrait, we tell them go rogue and create! We provide all the tools and inspiration they need."

In addition to canvas paintings, the studio also teaches glassware painting sessions and periodically offers a "Paint Your Pet" session, where pet owners are instructed on how to paint a portrait of their furry family member based on a photo of them. Iacona's inspiration for opening the studio was his wife, Phyllis, after she was introduced to the paint and sip concept. The couple opened Paint the Town to bring their appreciation for the arts to the local community.

Paint the Town has also become a popular venue for private parties such as birthday celebrations, fundraisers, and bridal showers. For a minimum of 15 guests, the studio provides a mobile service that will instruct a class at an offsite location including residences. Pre-registration is required for all classes and the student just needs to arrive ten minutes early and ready to paint. As Iacona explains, age and experience are not required.

"We've had painters as young as 4 and as old as 92," he said. "One of the joys is to see someone walk in with apprehensions and in about two hours you see them walk out with a well done portrait and great sense of accomplishment."

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