Flying colors

Entertainment The Arts

June 29, 2023



Splatter Charlotte makes a splash across town with BYOB painting parties.

by Michelle Boudin | photographs by Adam Cannavo

Tim Edwards often gets questions about one particular giant canvas that hangs in his Plaza Midwood apartment. It’s a splatter-paint piece he created that ended up sparking much more than conversation.

“I tried doing a large-scale splatter paint myself, and I loved the process of making it,” Edwards says. “People started asking me where I got it. I would tell them the story of how I made it, and they always seemed jealous that I painted it in such a fun way.”

Edwards, 31, realized most people weren’t going to set up a tarp in their apartment and start throwing paint at a canvas, so he wanted to come up with a way to help others have as much fun as he did while also creating colorful art. Splatter Charlotte was born. 

“We set up a canvas, all the paint you need, and you get to throw colors at the canvas to make a one-of-a-kind work of art that looks great every time,” Edwards explains.

It’s basically a BYOB painting party that has become popular for everything from dates to birthday parties to team-building exercises. 

“I normally get a mix of laughter and disbelief that [participants] get to be this messy,” Edwards says. “When I lead them through a session, I tell the artist to throw the paint like they are throwing a drink in someone’s face,” he adds. “I always get told it is an incredibly satisfying sensation to throw that first cup of paint onto a totally white canvas. It almost feels like something you would get in trouble for doing, but that’s the best feeling you can get.” 

April Whitlock, head of corporate citizenship at LendingTree, says Splatter Charlotte was the perfect way to bring remote workers together for a department meeting. “We were looking for a fun, interactive team-building activity,” Whitlock says. “Splatter Charlotte gave us exactly what we were looking for — a chance to enjoy a beautiful Charlotte day, have every single teammate participate and end up with a beautiful new piece of art for our office.”

The splatter paint parties have become so popular, Edwards has been able to turn his side hustle into a full-time gig. He left corporate jobs in product management and customer success and started running Splatter Charlotte full time last year. He recently found a permanent home for his experiences at Charlotte Art League in NoDa. Rates start at $125 an hour for two people and include all materials, plus delivery of your canvas once it’s dry.

“We make art because it feels good, and we have something inside ourselves that needs to be expressed.” — Tim Edwards, left

Edwards says people often warn him before throwing paint that “they aren’t creative” and can’t even draw stick figures. He says his favorite part is when they let go and realize they actually are creative. 

“By the end of the hour, those people produce something that they love and that legitimately looks good, and as they are staring at their artwork, I can see the gears turning in their heads. They start to see that they are, in fact, a creative person, and if they could just get out of their own way for an hour, stop judging themselves so hard, and learn to let go of perfection, they’d be surprised by what they could make.”

Still, he says he gets more joy out of it than anyone.

“I can’t tell you what a positive impact this has had on my days. People show me the best versions of themselves all the time: smiling, being creative, laughing, dancing…

“We make art because it feels good, and we have something inside ourselves that wants to be expressed. To be in a position where I get to see people discover, or sometimes rediscover, how good it feels to express themselves creatively, it’s a privilege.”  SP

Learn more or book an experience at splattercharlotte.com. 

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