A new Los Altos business is following the trend of moving online during the coronavirus pandemic, providing people a creative outlet during these unprecedented times.
Los Altos resident Arezou Bahman worked for two years to establish a Wine & Design franchise – opened in January at Rancho Shopping Center with help from Tami Vazquez – but had to halt in-person art classes two months later due to the shelter-in-place orders. Bahman has kept the business going by offering virtual painting classes for all ages and skill levels.
“The fact that these times right now are so stressful, there’s no better time to include and incorporate creativity and art into your life,” said Bahman, whose studio specializes in painting and sipping parties. “It’s such a stress reliever and brings a lot of calm.”
The two-hour virtual classes are either prerecorded, so participants can paint on their own time, or hosted live via Zoom. Some of the virtual paint studios are Disney and Harry Potter themed; more advanced options include step-by-step instructions to paint a scenic landscape.
Bahman said one of the fun parts of the virtual paint studio is that some of the participants have been from outside of California. A Wine & Design franchise in North Carolina, where the company is based, recently hosted a virtual class with 1,000 people from all over the world.
“Everybody’s painting the same thing, but everybody’s comes out different,” Bahman said. “But through that experience and through that process … that’s what gives you that connection and that’s what gives you that bonding.”
Wine & Design also sells paint kits that can be picked up from the studio, but Bahman said her goal is for people to make art with items they already have at home.
“You can just use cardboard. You can use paper. You can do this with markers and crayons,” she said. “The point is just being creative and doing some art.”
Wine & Design hosts virtual birthday parties and plans to hold weeklong summer camps online beginning in June.
The standard virtual studio class costs $15 per person. Bahman said a portion of the proceeds are donated to charity, an initiative Wine & Design participated in before the online classes began.
Bahman also plans to provide an opportunity for people to donate paint kits to front-line workers, who, she said, “more than anyone need some art therapy.”
She said the goal of the virtual classes is to give back to the community and help people realize that anyone can paint.
“Painting is good for the soul,” she said.
Wine & Design is located at 630 Fremont Ave. For more information, call 880-7872 or visit wineanddesign.com/losaltos-ca.