New night out combines wine and art lessons

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The latest trend in evening entertainment combines friends, wine and paintbrushes... and now, the national night out is catching on in the Quad Cities.

Vino Van Gogh events offer people with no art experience the chance to create a painting while enjoying wine and friends.

“Anybody, anybody can do it. Most of the people that attend these events have never painted before,” said event coordinator Tom Vaccaro.

Thursday, around 25 painters gathered at Café Fresh in Moline to create sunflower artwork. First-time participant Abby Bush said the event was a twist on her work friends’ typical girls’ night out.

We never paint… and we have to concentrate!” Bush laughed.

Vino Van Gogh first started in Chicago about two years ago. Since then, the program has spread to St. Louis and Iowa City. About two months ago, Vino Van Gogh launched in the Quad Cities, and it is in the process of launching in Omaha and Kansas City.

Thursday, organizers said that many Quad City events have been selling out since launching in the area. Vino Van Gogh is hosting about 2-4 events a week in the area now, mostly at area restaurants, wineries, and bars.

"It's been crazy so far. This is the fourth event I've worked just this week… yeah, it’s taken off like crazy,” said Vaccaro.

Instructors offer step-by-step painting lessons, so no skill is needed.  And the combination of wine, artwork, and social time is winning local participants over.

"It’s a great way to network, it’s a great to meet creative individuals; I think it’s fantastic. It’s something I haven't heard of, and it’s always nice to hear about new things in this area,” said Cameron Kepford.

For more information on how to sign up and a schedule of upcoming events, you can visit the Vino Van Gogh website here.