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Posted on Sat, Aug 31, 2013 : 5:59 a.m.

Make your own painting: The Paint Station to open on Washtenaw Avenue

By Lizzy Alfs

Kendra Wilkins wants to help Ann Arborites unleash their creativity at her new business on Washtenaw Avenue, The Paint Station.

Wilkins and her business partner, Catrina Vaughn, plan to open the art and entertainment venue at 7 p.m. on Sept. 6. It’s located in the Huron Village shopping center at 3255 Washtenaw Ave., in a 1,200-square-foot space above Panera Bread.


A Michigan-themed painting that people can recreate at The Paint Station on Washtenaw Avenue.

Courtesy photo

“(The Paint Station is) for people to come out and have fun and paint and bond with friends and unleash their creativity,” Wilkins explained. “They will complete a piece of artwork within two to three hours.”

The concept isn’t new, Wilkins said; social art venues are popular in the U.S., there just aren’t many in the Ann Arbor area. A business with a similar concept, Paint and Pour, recently opened on South Main Street in downtown Ann Arbor. Paint and Pour customers can bring their own alcoholic beverages and snacks.

“It’s something new and creative that’s actually coming toward the Midwest,” Wilkins said. “It’s been in existence for a while, but it’s not in the Midwest.”

“It’s like a fun night out or afternoon out, but you’re learning,” she added.

At The Paint Station, people can sign up for a two- or three-hour painting session and a professional artist will help them create a designated painting.


The Paint Station opens Sept. 6 on Washtenaw Avenue.

Lizzy Alfs |

The Paint Station doesn’t have a license that allows people to consume alcohol, but Wilkins hopes to get one in the next three to six months. Customers can bring their own food and non-alcohol refreshments.

“We have a calendar (on our website) and we have a different painting each day and we have different times. …You go online and reserve your seat, or you can reserve by calling The Paint Station,” Wilkins said.

She continued: “We supply the artists, the easels, the canvas, the paint and the paint brushes. You complete the session, have fun networking and take your painting home.”

A two-hour session at The Paint Station costs $35 per person, or $25 for children between 7 and 12 years old. A three-hour session costs $45 per person. The Paint Station also offers private parties for groups of 15 or more.

The Paint Station can accommodate 35 to 40 people in each session. As a former jewelry store, the space in the Huron Village shopping center was easy to renovate, Wilkins said. It’s an open space with easels and tables set up for customers.

“I liked the area, and the growth in the area,” Wilkins said. “(I liked) the new construction that’s in the area and the mall across the street, and just the exposure with the other existing businesses around. We think it will be a great fit.”

Wilkins said she is still looking to hire additional artists and assistants.

Lizzy Alfs is a business reporter for Reach her at 734-623-2584 or email her at Follow her on Twitter at



Thu, Sep 5, 2013 : 1:57 p.m.

I think my piece in mind would cost $5,000. And that isn't oil most likely.

Woman in Ypsilanti

Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 8:25 p.m.

I haven't been to this particular place but have been to similar places. Yes, the finished product is boring and not especially creative. Yet, it is fun anyways and you can always reuse the canvas to paint something more original later on.

Monica Hurt-Davis

Sun, Sep 1, 2013 : 6:15 p.m.

The concept is very popular in different parts of the country. Its fun to get with friends to create your own artwork. It is fun, perfect to give idle minds other than technology or trouble. So before you knock it open your minds to explore something new and challenging. yuk to people with one track minds.


Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 2:05 p.m.

I see your yuk, and raise you a blecch! completely agree!


Sun, Sep 1, 2013 : 3:02 a.m.

This sounds pretty cool! I would love to get some help putting my ideas on canvas. And the very reasonable price makes it a no-brainer. Thanks, Lizzie!


Sat, Aug 31, 2013 : 7:49 p.m.

Kind of like paint by numbers. No creativity, just follow the steps. Yuk!


Sat, Aug 31, 2013 : 7:47 p.m.

My sister created a painting and I was so amazed at her unknown talent. That's when she admitted that she and her girlfriends went to Paint and Pour a few weeks back and the step by step instructions on how to recreate a model painting allowed her to create this great piece of art. I'm totally going to sign up for one of these classes, very cool!


Sat, Aug 31, 2013 : 6:49 p.m.

What a totally neat idea! Can't wait.


Sat, Aug 31, 2013 : 6:31 p.m.

Sounds like sofa art e.g. starving artists style UGGHHH no thanks

Eduard Copely

Sat, Aug 31, 2013 : 6:30 p.m.

Can't wait to get going on my reproduction of Guernica at the store.


Sat, Aug 31, 2013 : 3:29 p.m.

designated painting? what happened to creativity?

Woman in Ypsilanti

Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 8:27 p.m.

Perhaps the challenge is to figure out a way to get creative within the narrow confines of the preselected painting?


Sat, Aug 31, 2013 : 10:03 p.m.

I actually stopped by this location over Panera Bread and spoke with one of the owners. I think it is something that you need to experience before you say its not creative. Sometimes it is more about relaxing and making memories with friends. I think it is a great idea. I am surprised the author did not mention the graffiti art. This is on their website. I can't wait to book a party. Now there's something more to do than just go to the movies.


Sat, Aug 31, 2013 : 3:39 p.m.

My question too! I was interested until I read "designated painting". Who wants to paint what someone else finds interesting?


Sat, Aug 31, 2013 : 1:16 p.m.

I don't get it.


Sat, Aug 31, 2013 : 4:38 p.m.

@Doug. Paint by Numbers is the starting point. What you have to do is violate the lines and apply unexpected colors to areas that suggest a standard color. And, of course, you can add spontaneous objects and details not called-for by the numbers. Whatever floats yer boat or blows your skirt up! Makes more sense than playing golf!

Dog Guy

Sat, Aug 31, 2013 : 1:36 p.m.

It sounds like let-your-hair-down fun, chucklk, so guys can't get it.


Sat, Aug 31, 2013 : 1:19 p.m.

It's probably paint by numbers!