Suburban Art Edu-tainment Watch: Art Class and Wine Glass Fulfills Hickey’s Prophecy of “The Return of Social Space.”

Critic Dave Hickey subtitled his seminal UltraLounge show of 1998 as “the return of social space (with cocktails).” A new Houston business melding art instruction with socializing and drinking called Art Class and Wine Glass takes an unusually forthright approach to serving the desire for socializing with like-minded hobbyists that drives many part-time art students.

Along with Painting with a Twist, a national franchise, AC&WG marks the commercial/hobbyist end of a spectrum of art-as-social event groups leading, in graduating levels of seriousness and quality, all the way through Mr. Sketchy, Houston’s I Love You Baby, the recent Soulstice event at Houston’s Silo, Houston artist Emily Sloan’s napping  performances, and collectives like OK Mountain or the now defunct Good/Bad Art Collective of Denton. Whether it’s Sunday painters or serious avant-gardists, everyone’s clumping together, drinks in hand. To paraphrase Incredibles arch-villain Syndrome: “When everyone’s an artist, no one is!”

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