Covington is home to an interactive art studio, with paint parties, local artist displays and more. It is all part of Ann Wildmon’s, owner of WildArt in Covington, goal to make Covington a go-to destination for art, history, food and more.
“I describe WildArt as a good mullet: business in the front, party in the back,” she said. “We have 21 local artists up front showing their work that I represent and then in the back we have the party place, or the tables for paint parties.”
Open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, WildArt offers paint parties by reservation. The store will stay open later Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays for reserved parties. After just three years on the Covington square, Wildmon said she has had more than 5,000 participate in paint parties. Parties can fit up to 41 people.
“The thing I love the most, the thing I really enjoy the most is when we have a date night over here, then over here four girls out for a night without the kids, then I have a family over here, but by the end of the night they’re encouraging each other, they’re high-fiving, they’ll share their spinach dip,” she said. “I mean, where else can you get together like family-style and get to hang out with people.”
Wildmon got her start in the art scene in Covington at Southern Heartland Gallery. She believes there is a need for more than two galleries on the square. She moved to Covington in 1992 and fell in love with the town and community.
Other programs offered at WildArt include fieldtrips, Girl Scout and Boy Scout badge programs, fundraisers and more.
Outside of running her business, Wildmon has a goal to keep visitors in Covington all day. She has worked to build a local ghost tour and is currently working on a food tour.
“My goal, ultimately, is keep people – bring them here to Covington and keep them here all day,” she said. “Paint, food tour, go out to eat somewhere for dinner and then come on the ghost tour and end the night.”
She is working to “knit these people together,” and keep tourists in town.