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Mt. Pleasant's Soda Shoppe Cafe to host guided art session

| Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
StudioPM artist Natalie Cheek of Norvelt showcases the upcoming painting to be featured during the Sip ’n Paint event to take place Aug. 15 at The Soda Shoppe Cafe along West Main Street in Mt. Pleasant.

Photo taken Aug. 15, 2014
StudioPM artist Natalie Cheek of Norvelt showcases the upcoming painting to be featured during the Sip ’n Paint event to take place Aug. 15 at The Soda Shoppe Cafe along West Main Street in Mt. Pleasant. Photo taken Aug. 15, 2014

The Soda Shoppe Cafe in Mt. Pleasant will host a “Sip 'n Paint” guided art social during which participants create acrylic paintings on canvas under the guidance of StudioPM artists.

The event will take place from 6:30-9:30 p.m., Aug. 15 at the cafe located at 509 W. Main St. in the borough.

StudioPM, based in Johnstown, offers a creative studio experience to create art, play, drink and socialize, according to the entity's website.

The StudioPM co-founders — Natalie Cheek of Norvelt and Karen Mesaros of Pittsburgh — like to set themselves apart from other sip 'n paint programs by painting on a number of surfaces, Cheek said.

The cafe's next event involving StudioPM will feature “Beach Getaway” acrylic paintings on canvas, while a previous event there featured painting on glass.

Cheek — a 2008 Indiana University of Pennsylvania graduate with a degree in art education — will instruct participants as they paint beach-themed creations inspired by her thoughts of going on vacation, she said.

StudioPM considers the venue when choosing subject matter to paint and considers participant's suggestions for future painting events, Cheek added.

Last Halloween, StudioPM held an event in Johnstown where attendees learned to paint pumpkins, she said.

“The possibilities are endless,” said Cheek, a former student of the PA Governor's School of Fine Arts, who teaches art at various elementary and high schools and holds after-school programs throughout the Johnstown area.

No artistic experience is necessary, as Cheek will demonstrate step-by-step instructions for participants to follow.

However, she encourages people to make their piece on their own and explore their own sense of creativity.

As a team, Cheek and Mesaros teach various techniques, such as blending colors.

Cheek said that, after a few times attending a StudioPM event, participants will gain confidence in their artistic ability.

The upcoming event will mark the fourth StudioPM session at the local business.

Sandy Bish of Mt. Pleasant has attended most of the events. She said it's nice to have an art event so close to home.

“The artists are so professional. I saw a lot of familiar faces of people I haven't seen in years, and met new friends at the events,” Bish said.

StudioPM began holding events in Johnstown with the cooperation of the Venue of Merging Arts (V.O.M.A.) there.

The experience offered by Cheek and Mesaros is expanding to Mt. Pleasant, Ligonier, Pittsburgh and Murrysville areas.

Becky Halfill experienced the painting social for the first time in July when participants had the opportunity to paint a set of wine, pilsner or martini glasses, as well as champagne flutes.

“It was such a fun evening ... the two artists that instructed us were very helpful, but they both had a great sense of humor and made us all feel very relaxed,” Halfhill said. “We interacted with others all evening, and even though none of us were artists we enjoyed sharing our work with each other. I cannot wait to attend the next event.”

Patty Cheek — owner of the Soda Shoppe Cafe — recalls her mother socializing at ceramic classes, and bringing home a masterpiece, she said.

She wanted to bring that type of event to her establishment, Patty Cheek said.

“It goes along with Soda Shoppe Cafe motto ‘Where good friends gather,'” she said. “It is very relaxing and stress relieving.”

Advance reservations required, seating is limited

Advance reservations are required to attend the event.

Seating is limited to 28 guests.

Payment options include credit (online) or cash and check at the door.

It will be a “bring your own bottle” event for those ages 21 and older.

Proper identification will be required.

To register online, visit:

The cost of admission includes guided instruction, as well as all materials and supplies needed.

StudioPM also offers private bookings for community groups, fundraisers, corporate team building, reunions, non-profit and private parties.

For details, email

For additional information, contact the Soda Shoppe Cafe at 724-610-7368 or visit the Soda Shoppe Cafe Facebook page and review event announcements.

The cafe will host StudioPM the third Friday of each month.

Kelly Vernon is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-547-5722 or

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