Crafts & Draughts at JoBoy’s

By on April 8, 2015

Josh Shelley wants you to unlock your inner artist … over a couple of beers. Shelley, the owner of Lancaster-based Crafts & Draughts, is bringing his artistic activities to JoBoy’s Brew Pub every second Tuesday. Crafts & Draughts will be back at JoBoy’s on Tuesday, April 14, when participants will create their own painting while enjoying stouts, lagers, and ales.

“It’s just a real fun time for everyone,” said Shelley as we talked in March before his monthly event. I was pleased to be invited to sit in, yet I was a bit apprehensive about putting brush to canvas-something I’ve only dabbled in a few times. “We have all sorts of people who come to our events. Some have experience painting and some have never picked up a brush before.”

Artist Mara Berzins leads the class through the painting of a butterfly on a sunflower.

Artist Mara Berzins leads the class through the painting of a butterfly on a sunflower.

Utilizing the spacious hall on the second floor of 27-31 E. Main St., Crafts & Draughts creates artistic events for anyone to enjoy. I walked in, was greeted by the JoBoy’s hostess and directed upstairs where I found a server on duty eager to provide me with food or any of the nano-brewery’s beers (come early if you want to eat). I opted for a Dry Irish Stout, one of my favorite JoBoy’s brews and certified as an “occasional” offering by co-owner Jeff Harless. Poured using a nitro system, the beer is always certain to have a good head and a fresh flavor.

A group shot of those who attended the Crafts & Draughts class in the second-floor banquet room at JoBoy’s

A group shot of those who attended the Crafts & Draughts class in the second-floor banquet room at JoBoy’s

After a quick talk with Shelley about his budding business (he also holds events in Lancaster City), I grabbed a seat at one of the many tables set up with a 16- by 20-inch canvas, a selection of different sized brushes, and a palette of primary paints. On this night our instructor, Mara Berzins, would walk us through all the steps necessary to create a painting of a butterfly on a sunflower. The Doylestown native and current Lititz resident has had her original art displayed at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia and the Berman Museum of Art in Collegeville. On Tuesday, she will guide participants through the steps of creating a painting of a dreamcatcher.

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Back to my visit. I opted to skip the butterfly (I knew the intricacy involved in the creation of the detailed insect would be a bit frustrating for me), which is all well and good. Participants are welcome to create their art at their own speed, use whatever style they may choose, and adapt their creation to meet their own individual process. The evening was well attended and quickly became a lot of fun. Strangers started to comingle over common obstacles and achievements. A group of young women laughed and had a joyous time at the table behind me. I thought if I were a single man this might be a good place to meet like-minded people. Beer. Creativity. It’s a lot of fun!

What would you like to create? Shelley purposely named his new business Crafts & Draughts so he could incorporate a number of artistic endeavors. I suggested soap making or a class creating sprays or lotions using essential oils. Comment below this story online at ephratareview.com and lititzrecord.com, or drop me a message at somepromcu@gmail.com, and I will make sure to let Shelley know your thoughts. Cheers!

Michael C. Upton is a freelance writer specializing in arts and leisure. He welcomes comments at somepromcu@gmail.com and facebook.com/SomebodiesProductions.

Michael C. Upton — have beer, will paint! (Photos provided by Michael Upton)

Michael C. Upton — have beer, will paint!     (Photos provided by Michael Upton)

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