On a recent Saturday night, 16 women sat quietly at an art studio in the heart of the historic business district in Inglewood. Each concentrated intently on a canvas in front of her, a paintbrush in hand, a glass of wine not far away.
At galleries and studios throughout Los Angeles “paint and sip” nights are a popular alternative to the bar scene. Customers bring a bottle of wine, paint a predetermined design with the guidance of an experienced artist and leave with something to hang on their wall.
La Sandra Jackson and her business partner, Tracy Shields-Johnson, bought A Toast 2 Artistry in 2017, then in Downtown Los Angeles. The sellers told Jackson they felt it would do better outside the downtown area, and the new co-owners knew just where they wanted to move.
“It wasn’t our community [downtown],” Shields-Johnson, a longtime Inglewood resident, said. “A Toast 2 Artistry is about so much more than paint and sip. It’s about community, it’s about bonding. We wanted to bring it to Inglewood with all the stuff that’s happening here.”
There is a lot happening here.
With the development of the LA Stadium and Entertainment District, future home of the Los Angeles Chargers, Los Angeles Rams, a performing arts venue, hotel, office, residential and green park space, Inglewood is about to have a busy decade.
The city will host the 2022 Super Bowl. It is in negotiations with the Clippers who want to build a dedicated NBA arena near the stadium. It may host some of the FIFA World Cup games in 2026, and it is already scheduled to host the 2028 Summer Olympic Games opening and closing ceremonies. The Los Angeles Philharmonic is going to build the first dedicated space for its signature youth music program around the corner from city hall. Even the Girl Scouts are coming, with plans to move their regional office from Marina Del Rey.
Jackson and Shields-Johnson recognized a city with business growth potential when they saw it, and their business is steadily growing. The studio is celebrating its one-year anniversary in Inglewood this month.