Art studio aims to improve wellness

by Nicole Rosselot

In April, So-So Artsy Paint & Sip Studios moved from its previous location in Northfield to a new studio at 9750 Olde Eight Rd. in Sagamore Hills. According to studio owner Melinda Turner, the new location is larger and better meets the needs of her growing business.

So-So Artsy Paint & Sip Studios offers public and private art parties, workshops (in person and virtual), art classes and corporate team building activities. The business also provides private parties at off-site locations like schools, community recreation centers, nursing homes and private homes and businesses.

Turner established So-So Artsy Paint & Sip Studios in 2018 with the goal of helping people improve their mental and physical wellness through art.

“Most people think, ‘Oh we’re just going to grab some wine, paint on canvases and have fun for the night,’ but it is really much more than that,” Turner said. “My goal is to be able to reach everyone in the community, and it is more about becoming healthy, whether it is physically or mentally, and I am just glad that I am reaching that goal.”

After 18 years as a social worker and school psychologist, Turner left her job with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District to focus on her health. “I love the field of psychology and mental health but personally I was burned out after so many years and I really couldn’t go any further,” she said.

While taking time off from her career, Turner focused on the healing benefits of creating art. “Once I started [working on] my art, I realized the art was helping me, and I thought other people might need this,” she said.

After attending an art workshop, the seeds for Turner’s business were planted. “I actually went out to a paint and sip studio during that time off and that is what really opened my eyes to what I should be doing,” she said. “That is when I decided to open the studio.”

So-So Artsy works with several schools as part of its social-emotional learning curriculum, including Lawrence School in Sagamore Hills and Broadview Heights and the Cleveland Metropolitan School District.

“We perform something that we call ‘Paint and S.E.P.,’ [which] stands for social and emotional perseverance,” Turner said. “We pair our emotions with colors and then we take those emotions/colors and we place them on a canvas.”

Turner also offers monthly classes and workshops at the Macedonia Family Recreation Center. “A lot of our classes are geared toward senior citizens and individuals with disabilities,” she said.

Through So-So Artsy Paint & Sip Studios, Turner aims to share the healing power of art. “I feel like it’s working and now I have other goals and I want to expand into more things,” Turner said. “It doesn’t feel like work, it is definitely fun for me.”

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A student volunteer prepares for the summer camps offered by  So-So Artsy Paint & Sip Studios. Photo submitted.

 Photo (main/above): Owner Melinda Turner recently relocated So-So Artsy Paint & Sip Studios to Sagamore Hills. Photo submitted.