Minimum Artistic Ability Required: Socializing with a Paintbrush


An art class is probably not the first thing that comes to mind for someone who left the crayons and paint behind in elementary school and wants a fun experience with friends. Yet Cocktails and Creations, the socialization opportunity that offers a paintbrush, a canvas and a drink, provides an engaging opportunity for those who want a little something different for a birthday party or a girls’ night out. Those who are perhaps intimidated at the thought of painting do not need to worry. Rick White, the owner of Cocktails and Creations, said, “The minimum talent requirement is the ability to draw a stick figure. Most clients haven’t picked up a paint brush since the 2nd grade. It’s more about coming in, having a glass of wine, and catching up on how your day’s been. It’s really about the fun and enjoyment of being with friends and doing something you haven’t done in a while.”

White, who also flies Boeing 777s commercially, provides business consulting in developing high performance teams, along with corporate and executive coaching in industries such as health care, finance, oil and gas and the public sector. His consultant work led to the Cocktails and Creations concept. After researching similar businesses in larger cities such as Denver and Phoenix, White decided to pursue the business opportunity.

After experiencing consistent growth monthly, Cocktails and Creations has moved to a new space downtown, just a few blocks from its original location. Now at 600 Main Ave, Unit 001, Cocktails and Creations is transforming and will celebrate a grand re-opening this month. White added that with a bigger classroom and a larger lounge area, there will also be a different atmosphere. “Instead of painting and going, come paint and drink and socialize,” White said. “The event is as much about socializing as it is about painting.”

White’s staff includes Colleen Joyce, who is the marketing director, and six artist instructors. The instructors consist of art teachers and Fort Lewis College art majors, who provide many different artistic styles. Most of the classes are based on the instructor’s original work, but there is also a masters’ original series based on artists such as Picasso and Van Gogh. The instruction provided includes showcasing the technique needed to develop a polished piece.

Cocktails and Creations caters to bachelorette parties, showers, girls’ nights out, and birthday parties. This summer, the organization will offer summer camps for kids. Future plans include motivational speaking and team building events. Reservations are preferred, but walk-ins are welcome. For more information about Cocktails and Creations, visit

Originally published in the May 2014 edition of the Durango Chamber of Commerce’s Chamber Connection.

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