“It was like a departure from our everyday lives,” Tennielle Bailey explains about her first wine & paint experience. This inspired her and husband, Ronald Bailey, to start up their own business. Decatur Art House first opened their doors on August 13th of this year, where you can take 2 hour classes for $25 or 3 hours for $35. You bring your friends, your drinks, and then be guided by a professional artist to create your own masterpiece.
The BYOB-studio harbors the work of various local artists- each instruct some of the lively groups that come with their parties and drinks. “The instructors find something that inspires them, and there’s a lesson behind it, if you choose to learn the lesson. If you just want to come and throw some paint on the canvas, that’s fine, too.” Tenn says, laughing. Some of these artist are classically trained, whereas others are self-taught and naturally gifted. She finds that though the level of art education is varied, the evidence of talent isn’t. The backgrounds of the instructors heavily influence the sessions, to create a fun, different one each time.
Tennielle, Ronald, and their two kids have lived in Decatur for nine years now, right around the corner in Oakhurst. “We felt like we could be well received here, because there’s such an appreciation for artistic and creative endeavors.” She seemed to be right, as many people want to return with even bigger groups, and much of their business comes from pleased customers’ own social networking. Customers enjoy the warm open environment that engages their creativity and connection with friends.
This isn’t the only area where the Bailey’s are using art as a tool to improve daily life. 10% of their profits go to support local non-profits, like the A21 Campaign, working to stop human trafficking. Decatur Art House also offers free classes to children who would otherwise not be able to afford this art education. She hopes that this exposure will plant some inspiration, whether it be in the children or the 21+ adults that choose to come.
Tenn’s passion for her work is moving. “The emphasis on the arts is lost when people want you to focus on practical things, but it’s such an important, critical part of life. You just need to be able to create something with your hands every once in a while.”