Pop (the Question) & PaintJun 01, 2023 09:00AM ● By Karey Solomon
Formerly known as Wine and Design, Pop & Paint at 90 E. Market Street in Corning is still owned by Kylene Kiah, who loved the concept but wanted to broaden the store’s appeal. In winter 2023 she did just that, and continues to offer fun and memorable ways to host important events, such as bachelorette parties and bridal showers. “We treat those the same as any other party,” Ky says. “They have the same two hours to paint, and they may bring in fun props, decorations, etc., to celebrate.” So, you can pop a cork while you tell stories about how he or she popped the question.
If you don’t want to pop a cork, soda or juice is a good accompaniment to a kids’ group or adult team-building activity. Birthday parties of all ages are held here, and there is a new emphasis on kids’ painting parties. Ky has a second studio at 210 W. Water Street in Elmira just for private parties; the one in Corning is open to a wider audience.
“This is the main place,” she says of the Corning location. “The locals kept me going over the years, and I like being visible on Market Street. Tourists are the icing on the cake.” Sessions at the art studio might be guided painting on canvas or informal seasonal art, often items useful as holiday or wedding décor. Projects begin as components cut out of wood, ready to paint and assemble, so coming to a class can be a way to de-stress and unwind with friends. Sometimes there’s a buffet of beads and embellishments. Some projects may be finished with a resin pour needing time to cure before being picked up the following day. Most classes last about two hours.
“Someone will say, ‘I went to Pop & Paint with my girlfriend, and it was so much fun!’” Ky says. “I went to school for art, and I have a creative brain,” she continues. “I’m always coming up with new things to do and new things to offer the customers. The more we evolve and change, the more there is to offer.”
Many attendees build an occasion out of a session, beginning with a meal at one of Corning’s many eateries, buying snacks for the group, and getting wine, beer, or soda to share. Some groups combine their fun with some fundraising for a favorite charity. Some have almost too much fun, such as a bachelorette party that brought decorations designed to resemble a certain part of the male anatomy.
What about those who feel uncomfortable with a paintbrush in hand? While they might feel a little apprehensive at first, “then they start to relax and say ‘Oh, I love this!’ I’ve never had someone who wasn’t happy,” Ky says. Three quarters of her customers come back to repeat the experience.
Find information, costs, and book a class at popandpaintny.com or by calling (607) 738–6884.