ELKHART — After less than a year in business, Wine and Canvas South Bend is already expanding.
Owner Jeremy Bachman said he and his wife, Deb Bachman, plan to open a Wine and Canvas storefront in Elkhart this June. Bachman said he choose the city for the first permanent studio because of the local support for the arts. So far, residents aren’t disappointing him — Bachman said he’s received many calls about the Elkhart studio since the sign went up at 409 S. Main St. just a few days ago.
“We wanted to open before Art Walk, but that’s just not happening,” said Bachman. “Right now we are waiting on our liquor license. I will be (at the studio) during Art Walk handing out literature, and hopefully people will walk in.”
Wine and Canvas events started in Indianapolis just three years ago and the trend has been sweeping the nation. Bachman said the concept is simple. A local professional artist creates a painting and attendees of the events follow along step-by-step to create their own masterpiece.
“You do not have to have any art experience at all,” said Bachman. “We specifically target people who say they can’t paint.”
Public and private events are usually held at local restaurants. The new permanent studio will make it easier for Bachman and his staff to hold events.
“For us it will be easier because we won’t have to carry stuff all over the city — we will be able to control our events more,” said Bachman. “Try carrying 50 easels around ... it gets really heavy. The studio will have more room, too. A lot of restaurants are really tight.”
Bachman plans to offer wine starting at $4 to $5 a glass at the studio. Some food will also be available. Bachman said he will carry national brands and also some locally produced items but there’s no requirement to purchase food or beverages.
“Most people have a brush in one hand and a glass in the other,” said Bachman. “Some people don’t drink at all or they have water or pop. There’s no pressure to buy wine.”
Wine and Canvas South Bend also does Cookie and Canvas events geared toward children and families.
Bachman said he’s excited to be a part of a business that’s fun.
“It’s fresh, it’s new ... the whole world is now promoting arts,” said Bachman. “Wine and Canvas is instant gratification and it’s the ultimate stress reliever. It takes just enough concentration to get your mind off your life, have some fun, and use the side of your brain that you don’t usually use.”
The events are most popular among women, but Bachman said the male clientele is picking up.
“If you can get (men) there, they love it,” said Bachman. “We do have 90 to 95 percent women, but when men come they always come back. We have a lot of men now who come by themselves.”
Another permanent studio in Granger will open soon after the Elkhart studio, and Bachman said he is also considering a location on the south side of South Bend. At least five new employees will be hired to support the studios.
“These are people who set up the events, tear down and take pictures,” said Bachman. “We call them artist’s assistants.”
Public Wine and Canvas events are announced at midnight on the 20th of each month on the Wine and Canvas South Bend website, www.wineandcanvas.com/southbend-in.html.
Tickets typically sell out fast according to Bachman. People can also sign up for a private Wine and Canvas event.
Bachman said updates are posted to the Wine and Canvas South Bend Facebook page daily.