Just around the time Wilson Living Magazine was conceived, our friends, Scott and Kirsten Harris, were starting their own new venture, The Art Mill. As WLM has grown over the years, so has The Art Mill. With the holidays approaching, The Art Mill is about to hit one of its busiest seasons as many folks will be lined up to paint amazing holiday artwork that they can then take home and display. And we couldn’t be prouder of our talented friends who have turned their idea into one of the area’s most successful businesses.
To that end, Scott sat down with us to share their story…
Tell me how you and Kirsten first conceived the idea of The Art Mill?
The Art Mill actually started as an invitation from some friends to help make their dinner party a success by adding an art party at the end of the evening. That went so well that some other friends “dared” us to start doing it on a larger scale. All the pieces fell into place and our first class was two weeks later on April Fool’s Day 2010 (no joke).
So tell our readers, what is The Art Mill all about?
The Art Mill is an interactive art studio that primarily focuses on painting on canvas with acrylic paint. We have classes for adults and kids. Our instructors are very hands on with all of customers to make sure that your painting is a masterpiece. Good friends, great music and a whole lot of fun is what you can expect at every class or party at The Art Mill.
Do you have to know how to paint to go to The Art Mill?
No experience is necessary. Our talented instructors walk you through step-by-step to make sure that your painting turns out GREAT and that you have fun in every class! Our customers should always expect to take home a painting that you are proud of and created yourself.
How do you schedule a class at The Art Mill?
Our classes are posted on our website at www.TheArtMills.com. Simply click on the calendar and you can see every class that is coming up at The Art Mill. Just click on the picture on our calendar and in just a few quick steps you will be registered for class. We offer classes for adults or kids with different canvas sizes for both.
How are your classes structured?
Each class is about 2 hours long. Our instructors walk you through every step of painting and help you create your very own work of art. You can choose your own colors and make your painting exactly what you want. We play great music and walk you through step by step until your painting is complete. We always say… “If you don’t like your painting, you can have ours” To date – no one has taken us up on this.
Can you bring snacks and/or drinks to class?
Of course! Feel free to bring any type of snack or drink (including wine) to your class. Our classes are real painting classes…but they are also lots of FUN!
Where are your studios?
The Art Mill has studios in Lebanon (on the town square), in Cookeville (just off the town square) and our newest location is in Mt. Juliet in TownCenter (which is soon to be Mt. Juliet’s town square). Kirsten & I are lifelong residents of Wilson County. The Art Mill is not a franchise…it is a local small town business.
I see on your calendar that you have something called Open Paint Night…can you explain what that is?
Open Paint Night is your opportunity to paint something from a class that you might have missed. Open Paint Nights offer limited instruction, but there are still instructors on hand to help you with your painting. We do recommend that you paint in one of our regular classes first, in order to make sure you know your way around the studio first.
Do you offer parties at The Art Mill?
Private Paint Parties are a very big part of what we do at The Art Mill. At each of our locations we have a front studio and a back private studio specifically for Private Paint Parties. Our front studios can seat approximately 40 painters and our private studios can hold 20 to 40 people. Our Private Paint Parties do require a minimum of 10 painters, but you also get a private studio, your own instructor, you get to pick the date, the time and the painting. Booking a Private Paint Party is easy…just call the studio and we’ll match up calendars and schedule your event. Private Paint Parties are perfect for corporate events, birthday parties, girl’s night out, church groups and more!