PALMER — Local painter and Artists Uncorked owner Becky Oviatt recently participated in a question and answer interview to discuss her craft and her local sip and paint business.
Q: When did you acquire Artists Uncorked from Diana Bland?
“I bought it from her in October. So, I’ve owned it for a year… I talked to her when she still had her studio. I told her I was interested in being one of her artists… She was quite impressed with my artistic ability... she contacted me and told me, ‘I’m selling the business’ and ‘what do you think?’ I said, ‘let me think about that for about two seconds,’ and I went ahead and bought it. Things were starting to pick up just before the COVID hit, and it kinda tanked… I’m almost starting over right now.”
Q: So is this going to be your first public event since all this started?
“I’ve had a couple private parties since then, but no. I haven’t any public events.”
Q: Are you excited to get back and do that?
“Oh yeah. I miss my artists that come in and do the paintings. I miss getting together with all good friends and people at all the bars. I miss seeing them.”
Q: So you said prior to COVID, things were taking off?
“Yeah, they were getting started. At the very least, I was doing one paint night a week, and at the very most I was going two; and when they’re full, that’s a pretty penny.”
Q: So what kind of music do you make [with your husband Scott]?
“We tend to do old rock and roll covers. It’s just the two of us. Hopefully we’ll be adding keyboards soon.”
Q: So what sort of artistic mediums do you gravitate towards the most?
“I do landscapes that kinda thing. I don’t do people… I do all sorts of things. I paint birdhouses… Acrylics is my big thing. I have done watercolors before… I do make my own yarn. I still get into that… I also sew. I upcycle furniture.”
Q: So a little bit of everything?
‘You bet,” she said with a laugh.”
Q: How long have you been making art?
“Probably since I’ve been able to pick up a pencil.”
Q: So you’ve made art pretty much all your life, what keeps bringing you back to it?
“You just start from a blank canvas, as a friend of mine puts it, you smear paint on it and it turns into something, and not something that’s flat, something that can look as good as three dimensional. You can put as much or as little color as you want into it; and if you don’t like it, you can always paint over it and start again… Paint will go on so many mediums. You can paint on a wall. You can paint on canvas. You can paint on glass. It’s always been so satisfying. It was something that I put away for a long time and I decided it was time to get back into it.”
Q: Where else have people probably seen you?
“I put on the very first [Mat Su Valley] Fiber Festival. I owned a fiber store for a while too.
Q: How long has the Fiber Festival been going on?
“That was cancelled because of COVID… This would’ve been the fourth year.”
Scott was present during the interview. He chimed in to compliment his wife’s artistic mind and ceaseless drive, and said, “anything she sets her mind to she makes success out of it.”
Q: Have done much vending at local events?
“I don’t do a lot of vending… On the 15th, I’m gonna be doing an event for the Valley [Board of] Realtors... I’m gonna display my paintings… plus the jewelry and other stuff I make, and whatever else I can get my hot, little hands that I’ve made that’s sellable.
Q: How long have you been living in the Butte area?
“I’ve been in the Butte for 16 years now.”
Q: What do you think of Palmer’s creative community?
“There are so many artists in this community... You have to do something really unique to stand out.”
Q: What do you like about Artists Uncorked and that paint and sip model?
“The ability to do what I want to do… If I want to have a paint party with two students, I can do that. If I want to have a paint party with 20 students, I can do that… I also like watching the budding artists find out they can actually paint a painting… You’re not here to create a masterpiece. You’re just here to have fun.”
Q: When are your next paint nights, and what are the themes?
“Oct 15, at the Moosehead Lounge. That’s gonna be country pumpkins. The other one is Nightmare Before Christmas, and that’s gonna be the 27th at Klondike Mike’s.
Q: What time?
“They’re always from 7 to 9 [in the evening].”
Q: Are you feeling optimistic that you’ll be able to get back in the swing of things and people are gonna pick up on it?
“I think so. Because even through all the crisis, I’ve had people call me and ask, ‘when are you gonna be back?’ and ‘can you do a private party?’
For more information about Artists Uncorked, search for their Facebook page, call 907-521-9276, or visit their website at artistsuncorked.com.
Contact Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman reporter Jacob Mann at email@example.com