Does nectar of the Gods awaken the artistic muse?
My adult beverage depth chart goes like this: Cheap beer, craft beer, shots, mixed liquor drink, and at the bottom of the totem pole, wine.
(Note: I actually enjoy mixed drinks but they tend to bring way more collateral damage, so I generally stick to beer).
Despite my somewhat oblivious attitude toward wine, I have noted that there seems to be a wine awakening – paralleling the craft beer revolution – going on along the Grand Strand, something we’ve chronicled before such as the cover story from almost exactly a year ago, where correspondent Derrick Bracey toured (A Wine Awakening, Oct. 20, 2011) area vineyards and wineries.
Further evidence of a budding local market for wine consumption and appreciation comes in the form of the third annual Myrtle Beach Wine Fest set for Saturday at The Market Common.
There’s wine dinners hosted at area restaurants on a regular basis, where patrons learn how to match vino with vittles, and at the recent Pawleys Island Festival of Music and Art, many events featured wine, too.
But let’s focus on that last mention for a minute – art…and wine.
Have you ever been to an opening reception for an art exhibit or gallery? I’ve been to plenty – and I can say I can’t recall an occasion where wine wasn’t served. You sip on wine, look at the art, try to say something intelligent…
But stay with me here – there is a connection between art and wine and that connection is getting a new twist along the Grand Strand.
In pubs and bars in cities across the country, artists are gathering for sessions dubbed “Drink and Draw” nights - they bring their supplies and create artwork in the bar, while downing a few pints, then at the end of the evening share their work. Well, I did some checking around and we may not have seen this trend crop up in Myrtle Beach yet, but there’s a couple of new places for aspiring artists - or simply folks looking for a different night out - to try their hand at painting - while the other hand is occupied with a glass of adult beverage, but outside of the usual bar/pub scene.
Up on North Kings Highway, there’s Wine and Design, with the catchy slogan, “Get Your Art Buzz On,” and on the south end, there’s Paint & Unwined, with a similar concept. Meanwhile, there’s a program in Pawleys Island called Palette to Palate, offering folks the chance to paint and munch at the same time and at Conway Glass you can book a private glass blowing party where you make glass ornaments and BYOB.
Sounds like you can’t spell art without adding a p and y.
While we chide the Myrtle Beach area for being slow to catch onto trends sometimes, at other times it seems like business concepts mushroom here in a matter of moments – say like the inexplicable recent explosion of frozen yogurt joints.
Anyhow, back to the concept dubbed by Entrepreneur Magazine as “paint & sip” – it’s a growing national trend and the seeds are being sown here on the Grand Strand, too, so we dispatched correspondent Paul Grimshaw to find out what’s driving the allure of creating art in a social – and decidedly adult – atmosphere and you can read his report, which is this week’s cover story.
And a moment of disclosure here: I am friends with the folks who opened the paint and sip venture recently in Murrells Inlet and have kept up with it via Facebook. But when I learned that there was another paint and sip place operating in town, along with a paint and eat/socialize program and learned that this trend is sweeping other cities, that elevated the concept to cover story status in my mind, as we strive to be ahead of the curve on trend-spotting and local leisure time activities.
When discussing the idea for this cover story with my boss, I brought up that I knew the entrepreneurs and didn’t want there to be any kind of conflict of interest, and her response was something along the lines of – “You can’t help it, you know people.”
So after assigning the story, I stayed out of it, even running into my friends/entrepreneurs at a couple of local festivals where we didn’t talk about their business or our cover-story-in-progress at all. What I hope we have achieved is a balanced report that reflects a burgeoning social, cultural and business trend along our shores - but you can be the judge by returning to our homepage and reading for yourself.
Kent Kimes, Editor