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Art studio colors downtown

December 11, 2015
| By Pat Evans |
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Brush Studio
Brush Studio hopes its customers leave with a “positive sense of self” after creating something they “never thought possible — a fabulous piece of art.” Photo via fb.com

An instructional art studio is expanding into downtown.

Brush Studio will open a studio in Grand Rapids, at 50 Louis St. NW, where customers can paint, while enjoying a glass of wine or beer. The first Brush Studio opened in East Grand Rapids about three and half years ago.

The downtown location is currently open for private events and will likely open to the public in February.

The project's cost is estimated to be about $150,000, and the location will create up to 12 jobs.

Instructional studio

Brush Studio features an artist on a stage, guiding customers through a pre-picked painting with step-by-step instructions.

The new location will give the company the ability to be flexible in canvas sizes.

The studio also sells a variety of art supplies, such as paints and brushes.

Downtown draw

Brush Studio owner Heather Callahan told the Business Journal the East Grand Rapids location has stayed busy, and she looks forward to reaching a new demographic and having added space to feature family and children’s workshops.

Another reason for the expansion is many businesses have asked Brush Studio to come downtown.

“Part of the reason we wanted to jump downtown is that we do a lot of corporate business, so we're down here a lot anyways,” Callahan said at Wednesday's Downtown Development Authority meeting, where her request for a liquor license was unanimously approved.

“It's something that can be used as a team building, get out of the office, get out of the boardroom — do something a little creative.

“We love the vibe and with the growth (of downtown) and seeing a lot of our art students and college students living down here, going to school down here, we wanted to jump in.”

A “night out”

Callahan has a liquor license at the East Grand Rapids Brush Studio to offer beer and wine during the studio's six or seven classes a week.

“We have just found that people do take advantage of (the alcohol option),” Callahan said at the meeting. “It's not a huge portion of our sales, but it's something that's necessary. It creates that vibe of being able to be relaxed, because art is entertainment. It's not serious art technique, although my artists can talk the talk if they need to. But we offer an entertaining night out.”

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