Younique Expressions Art & Wine Bar
By Elizabeth Wood West with photos by Shelly Barnes
It is hard to say what Younique Expressions Art & Wine Bar’s (Younique) CEO, Shelly Barnes, prefers – providing an enjoyable environment for would-be artists or supporting special charities close to her heart.
Fortunately for Barnes, her new business venture will let her do both. Younique is an art studio for children to adults, professionals to retirees – anyone who wants to learn how to paint and work with other mediums, while enjoying live music, appetizers, and beverages. Younique opened September 1 and is located at 363 Village Square Lane, Suite 115, in Castle Pines.
In addition to regular classes, corporate events, birthday parties, and holiday events, Younique will host twice-monthly fundraisers for non-profit groups and donate 20 percent of the proceeds to the featured charity. Barnes is setting aside September 6 for Firefly Autism and September 14 for Colorado Special Olympics – two organizations that touch her personally.
Barnes’ 18-year old niece, Adriana, is autistic and has benefited greatly from both groups. Barnes explained, “I give much credit to Special Olympics for helping my niece come into her own and have a meaningful and purposeful teenage life, as the public school she attended could not provide her with the right opportunities. Firefly Autism does such incredible work and supports kids and helps families who have to deal with the daily challenges that Autism brings.”
Barnes has an extensive business background that has taken her all over the world, resulting in her love for different forms of art. After retiring from Newmont Mining, Barnes developed the concept of an art studio that would foster creativity and socializing. Barnes said, “I moved to Castle Pines Village and felt it was an untapped area in much need of some creative and fun art programs and a classy piano lounge and bar.”
Barnes will be joined by partner Thomas Blee-Carlyle, Creative Art Director and Curator for the studio. Blee-Carlyle has more than twenty years experience as a professional fine and decorative artist. Younique will have art gallery events and sell unique art made by artisans from third world countries in the studio’s retail boutique area.
Registration for classes is underway and discounts are available to veterans/active military, police, firefighters, and teachers. For more information or to register for classes, visit www.youniquexpressions.com.