Painting studio with a fun twist holds grand opening ceremony in April

By Holly Tishfield

When Libbi Poole contacted her sister Lesley Vitel last year and said she wanted to start her own business, Vitel wasn’t on board immediately.

Poole had never owned or operated an independent business before, so Vitel was concerned about all the things that could go wrong, but when the sisters received an email last October that the business was Painting With a Twist in Ponte Vedra Beach was up for sale, it was felt like a fate.

Lesley Vitel is a full time agent. She has been in the business for over 15 years and absolutely loves her job, but she was ready for something new and exciting and she wanted a partner. Her sister Libbi Poole is a kindergarten teacher with a background in arts and education who currently resides in Georgia. Poole plans to end the year in Georgia and make the full move to North Florida after school to devote her time to running her new business.

Painting With a Twist’s location in Ponte Vedra Beach has been in the area for some time. When Poole and Vitel took over the business in late 2020, they redesigned the entire shop to live up to their vision of making the space more inviting.

Painting With a Twist is a business with a unique take on art classes. The shop employs artists to coordinate painting classes for groups, which can be reserved on their website. They offer courses on paintings such as marine animals, landscapes, cartoon characters, and more. The “twist” of Painting With a Twist is that guests are encouraged to bring their favorite bottle of wine and snacks to class.

This makes it the perfect place for parties and celebrations, which can also be reserved privately on their website.

“People come in and generally leave with something they are proud of,” Vitel said. “Non-artists can still come in and have fun painting.”

With the pandemic in mind, Painting With a Twist is also offering take-away kits for virtual painting lessons so guests can experience the fun of adult art classes from the comfort and safety of their own home.

According to Poole and Vitel, the business has done very well since it opened in March. The community reacted positively and booked the Girls Night and Date Night courses week after week.

“It’s funny art,” said Vitel, “not fine art.”

A grand opening ceremony with a ribbon cut will be held at Painting with a Twist’s Ponte Vedra location on April 8th at 5:00 p.m. For more information about their courses and the fun events they host, visit Strand.

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