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"Paint & Sip" studio inspires Kearney community
Corky Creations in Kearney, Nebraska, opened in October and has already added its own unique colors to the community. Visitors find an exciting atmosphere in its premises—an amalgamation of good wine, the thrill of creation and camaraderie. It is a place where laughter and good-humored conversations arise naturally.
The idea behind Corky Creations is that for $35 anyone can join a session, which consists of an artist teaching the process of creating a painting. Wine is served, and often people come with friends to create unique memories together. At the end of each two-and-a-half hour class, everyone gets to take his or her own painting home as a keepsake and decoration.
Corky Creations was inspired by a weekend outing. Owners Melissa McCartney and Corey Cline, who are engaged, visited The Corky Canvas in Lincoln. They instantly wanted to bring this unique experience to Kearney.
“We’ve always talked about wanting to start a small business. I told [Melissa that] this is something an average person can come in, and in two hours, create something completely unique and take it home with them,” Cline said.
With this motivation, McCartney and Cline got to work on getting a small business off the ground. Neither had prior small business experience—McCartney works at Farm Bureau and Cline is a cattle buyer.
During the process, both have learned how much effort it takes to run a business, Cline said. They leased the property in April 2014 and acquired their liquor license in August. Corky Canvas opened its doors on October 17.
The main goal of the business, McCartney said, is to create an environment that relieves stress and leaves a memorable experience.
“We wanted a place where people could have fun, make memories, and take original artwork home with them. A place to relax after a stressful work week, a place to go,” she said. And they have received a “tremendous” response from the community. Cline added—people have returned and many have been talking about the business.
For him, the most surprising thing is noticing how people seem to forget about their phones while they’re painting.
“I ask people if they want me to take a picture of them with their phone [while painting], and they have to get it out. People are laughing and letting loose. You see so many people on their phones nowadays, and I haven’t seen anybody on their phone here,” he said. “It makes it worthwhile.”
Corky Canvas currently has five artists who collectively offer a wide variety of paintings and styles.
“They’re all very talented in their own way. They all have different techniques and bring different perspectives to the table,” McCartney said.
They offer a diverse selection of events because their service is so accessible. There are currently community fundraisers, kids’ events, and Christmas parties scheduled.
To learn more about Corky Creations and register for classes, visit corkycreationspaintnsip.com
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