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Art with a Splash

Concord couple hopes to make a splash with new Nashua art studio

Union Leader Correspondent

July 29. 2013 6:22PM

NASHUA — A Concord couple is bringing a fun, creative and artistic business to downtown Nashua, hoping the city will embrace the concept.

Joanne Katherine Wiren and her husband, James, are opening their second paint-and-sip art studio in New Hampshire. Housed at 11 Main St. in Nashua, Art With A Splash is expected to open its doors on Aug. 15.

"We know that Nashua has a good population and some really great art galleries," said Joanne, a jewelry designer. "We are excited to bring some color to the downtown area."

The idea behind their business is a no commitment, one-time art class where people bring their own beverage, learn how to paint and take home a handmade canvas painting.

In addition to the art classes, they host a myriad of special events such as birthday parties, bachelorette parties, work socials, corporate events, date nights, fundraisers and more. It is for people of all ages and artistic abilities.

"This is all about getting your creative juices flowing," Joanne said from her new studio. Paintings such as basic ladybugs, cupcakes and ice-cream cones can be fun activities for the youngsters, while adults might be more inclined to try painting their own version of the Eiffel Tower, a night sky or a city landscape, according to the Wirens.

The couple opened New Hampshire's first paint-and-sip art studio two years ago in Portsmouth, and the idea has been well received, they said.

"I think Nashua needs something like this. I am sure the city is going to enjoy it," said James, an artist for about 40 years.

Together, the Wirens operate Art With A Splash in conjunction with their two daughters, Kelly and Kate Wiren, artists and instructors.

The family business has flourished over the past several years, and the Wirens are thrilled to be opening their second art studio. The concept of sharing a bottle of wine with friends and trying something new seems to appeal to a lot of people looking for a different and adventurous evening out, said Joanne, adding amateur painters are often very impressed with their own masterpieces.

Step-by-step instructions are given to patrons, many of whom have not picked up a paintbrush since kindergarten, she said, and the final products always include individual charm that make each acrylic painting unique and special.

In fact, many of their customers become return clients, according James, who attended the New England School of Art and Montserrat College of Art, learning to perfect portraits, landscapes, still life paintings and abstracts.

Joanne has been focusing her creating talents on designing jewelry for more than six years, while their daughters seem to have followed in their parents' footsteps. Kelly focuses on the special events portion of the family business, and Kate helps with the entertainment aspect.

For more information about the new studio, visit

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