Combine one part socializing, one part good food and libations, one part entertainment and one part painting and you have a night out at Paint and Pour. A friend suggested the activity as a way to celebrate my sister’s birthday. I’m no Picasso (I can’t even make a proper stick figure) but my sister was totally geeked up for a night of painting, so I went along.
At first glance the Brighton studio looks like most art galleries, with paintings covering the walls and eclectic decor. Greeted warmly, we were provided with aprons, paint-splattered from previous customers. Seated on a stool with paint and brushes and a blank canvas in front of me, I considered slipping back out the door.
Our instructor, Zack, entered the room, putting me at ease. I quickly learned, there are just a few simple rules at Paint and Pour:
1. Keep your paint brushes moist at all times (to help the paint flow).
2. Never, and I mean never, drink the colored water.
3. Have fun!
After some encouragement, and a cocktail, I was pleasantly surprised with the result.
I was impressed with the paintings that were created by people tuned into this new night out, from birthday parties, to company sponsored get- togethers, to Bachelorette parties. Founder Dennis Bruce Spencer and Co-Owner Michael Patino combined some good old fashioned fun with innate creativity. I spoke with Patino about their business footprint.
Current: How long have the studios in Ann Arbor and Brighton been in business?
Patino: Paint and Pour began in Brighton in August of 2012 with a vision of bringing art to the masses through a mix of entertainment and instruction. Studio West’s gallery in downtown Brighton enabled us to bring Paint and Pour to life as a night life venue for the community. Word spread quickly, and classes have grown consistently.
In 2013, we opened our second location in downtown Ann Arbor, at Main and Liberty,in space below Elmo’s T-Shirts. In 2014, Paint and Pour began running events at bars and restaurants across Metro Detroit, which greatly expanded our reach.
How did you and Dennis come up with the idea of hosting paint and pour events in your studios?
Dennis worked for several years as an artist in a competitor’s business, but was unsatisfied with their corporate business model. We pooled our talents, added blood, sweat, and tears, and we are moving into our 4th year!
Are your instructors full time artists?
We developed Paint and Pour as a vehicle for artists to make a decent living as instructors, providing a way to earn a steady income with time to pursue their artistic visions. This is certainly not your typical 40 hour a week job, but our people love it!
We host regular gallery events, where our artists are invited to sell their personal work, promoting our artists as the incredibly gifted people that they are.
To schedule an event, call 734-720-9777 or visit