Jess spends some time with Terri Heggie to see what goes into making a successful Gallery
on the Go gathering

    Have you ever attended a Gallery on the Go painting event whether it was with family, friends, coworkers or for a special event? Crookston’s Terri Heggie has spear-headed the local GOTG scene and has the awards to prove it. She had her first party in March 2016 and since then has been awarded Rookie of the Year, Star Performer, Top Children’s Events and has been named a Masterpiece Team Builder by recruiting four teammates. Heggie held 123 events this year, made over $34,000 in sales and hosted 1,438 painters, and she doesn’t plan on stopping.

    I, personally, have been to a number of her painting parties and let me tell you - whether you’re an “artist” or not - you will have fun. One of the funnest events I’d ever been to was the Prince party she held at Cofé last year right after he passed away. The image we painted is still one of my favorites. (It sits on my desk at work if anyone cares to come see it.)

    Gallery on the Go believes that “supporting the arts has never been more crucial than it is today.” Their mission is to have fun, get people together, and transform the paint and sip industry into “The Art of Socializing!” How it works: You invite friends, family, coworkers, provide the table, chairs and refreshments, and pick the painting. Gallery on the Go takes care of the rest. Host a party in your home, at your place of business, at a bar or restaurant or anywhere, really. Or, you can check out a GOTG host’s social media page and sign up to attend one of their events. Heggie recently did a party at the Villa St. Vincent in the June Shaver Wellness Room and her guests painted a pumpkin floral piece that would look great on a mantle, on the wall or at the office.

    So, what exactly does a GOTG host do to get set up for a party? More than you think. Heggie practices every picture before she holds an event and she must be timely with the instructions given (yes, there’s a process.) She jokes that there’s no wine involved at home when she tries her hand at painting an image. After all, she is a professional. With over 100 GOTG selections to choose from at one time, hosts have to be attentive with their work and make sure they can attempt to master the painting that will debut at the upcoming party.

    Currently, GOTG has categories of This Just In, Fall Fun, Spooky Selections, Holiday Happiness, Warm & Toasty, 10x20, Fabulous Florals, Tweets & Trees, Kids ’n Canvas, Party Plaster, Love My Tribe, Down on the Farm, Animal Kingdom, GOTG Faves, La La Land(scares), This & That, All Star!, Canvas Doodle, Always Summer, and Couple Creations. Inside each category is close to a dozen choices, so you can imagine how difficult it is to pick just one for your party.

    Once the painting is selected and Heggie has her practice image to show off at the beginning of the party (which really is helpful so you have an idea of what it could look like if you pay attention and want to give the painting as a gift or display it somewhere where actual people might see it - side note: I hide all of mine at the office), it’s then up to you to decide if you want to go outside the box and slightly change up the color scheme or add more than what is shown. Heggie prepares all of the supplies like the cups, paint, pallets, brushes (5 main sizes for each person), canvas stands, canvases counted, colorful aprons washed, a water container, and, she usually includes a small treat as a token of appreciation, too.

    Once the guests start to arrive, and if they’ve brought appetizers and beverages (it doesn’t always have to include alcohol), they will usually load up their plates and glasses before sitting down to “their” spot for the party. It’s exciting to look at the blank white canvas sitting in front of you and imagining what will become of it in the next hour or so. Heggie then begins the instructional part of the party which typically starts with the background. For instance, at the Villla’s recent party, the background was a swirly stormy-like grey backdrop that guests customized to their liking. Some went for a lighter look and some darker. Each person decides what they want after Heggie gives the color options and instructs them “how” they can paint it. It’s not paint-by-number, but the instructions are helpful if a guest is new to painting or haven’t painted since their finger-painting days in elementary school.

    Once the background colors are dried, the top image(s) are added and, again, everyone’s will look different depending on how they make their shapes and if they add more or less than what the sample looks like. Some people may want larger flowers or bigger balloons, or maybe they’ll some fun colorful swirls to their backgrounds. The nice part about Gallery on the Go parties is that you can follow the instructions and go home with a beautiful painting or you can customize it to look how you want and still go home with beautiful painting. Once you’ve been to a few painting parties, you may find yourself becoming a little more daring and venturing outside of what you might have done had it been your first time. The Crookston Rotary Club had a painting party with Heggie over the winter and the end results were all different which added to the fun.

    The biggest party Heggie has done was 36 painters at Pinehurst Resort and, next summer, she might look to top that. During Ox Cart Days 2018, if all goes well on setting the event up, Heggie may try to top that number by five or more. For now, we’ll just leave it at that.

    The number one GOTG image used in this area was “Family Tree”, Heggie says. Although, during the winter season, the “Peace Tree” with metallic paint was a party favorite. And, this holiday season, Heggie hopes that “Snowy Pastures” will be painted a few times. (To check out the Snowy Pastures image, you can visit galleryonthego.com or Heggie’s Gallery on the Go with Terri Facebook page.)

    Heggie says that, while the painting parties are there for guests to have fun, she also has a good time.

    “It’s fun for me up here,” Heggie boasts. “I have met so many people because of this adventure.”

    “This is about socializing, but the end results are also a nice keepsake,” she added.