Putting the art in party

Burgundy & Brushes puts eco-friendly twist on ‘paint and sip’ parties

When it comes to drawing or painting, I’m … not good. My dad still has a still-life of a vase I painted around fifth grade hanging on his wall. It’s probably the best I’ve ever done, but I have a distinct memory of my art teacher helping me with the shadow shading. Ah well, we can’t all be great at everything, right?

So, when I walked over to B Street Public House last Tuesday afternoon (April 26) to check out the grand opening of Burgundy & Brushes, a new “paint and sip” business in town, I was secretly happy that I had a newspaper deadline to rush back to, getting me out of actually having to paint. That said, when I stepped out onto the back patio (I hadn’t been there since they added the fire pit and outdoor bar—very swanky!) and got a taste of it all, I felt a twinge of regret for not participating, at least for the wine part.

Burgundy & Brushes is run by Jamie Zeff and Caira Hart, self-described “art nerd/p(art)y hostess” and “art geek/p(art)y designer,” respectively. Zeff had reached out and invited me to the event, so I immediately introduced myself. She showed me the “finished product,” the painting all in attendance were emulating, and as we chatted she took breaks to give instruction on the next steps. Participants each were provided with an apron, easel, canvas, painters tape and, of course, paints and brushes. In looking around, I was impressed at the simplicity of the task at hand and the flexibility for personal style.

Zeff has a degree in art studio, while Hart is studying art education and early childhood education. Both have taught locally. But one of the things that stood out for me about B&B is Zeff and Hart’s devotion to the environment. All supplies are eco-friendly, including the paints, and locally made whenever possible. The easels are made locally and the aprons are made of 65 percent plastic bottles—plus they’re screen-printed in town.

In addition to hosting p(art)ies around town and being available for private events, Burgundy & Brushes also sells its eco-friendly supplies—coming soon on the business’ website, www.burgundyandbrushes.org. The site also has info on upcoming events (the next is at 4 p.m. on Mother’s Day, May 8, at Grana Wood Fired Foods). Advance reservations recommended.

Speaking of B Street My pop-in for the painting party reminded me that I’ve been meaning to drop by B Street for breakfast, which they started serving six months ago or so. My opportunity arose with an invitation for a breakfast meeting. I suggested B Street; my cohort’s reply: “OMG, they have beignets!” So it was a date. She predictably ordered the beignets, which looked powdered-sugary delicious. Along with my satisfyingly but not overly sweet iced mocha (delicious), I got the smoked salmon open-faced sando. Killer. Go there, like, immediately.