Coffee & Canvas: The Non-alcoholic Experience Of Corks & Canvas


Samantha Rachuy, MSUM Public Relations

Businesses that partook in the Corks & Canvas event displayed their participation in creative ways. c.lizzy’s chose a simple yet elegant arrangement.

Fargo, N.D. — In order to truly experience a Corks & Canvas event, you must set out on your adventure with a glass of wine in hand. The account that follows is based on my experience of the event with a friend who is under 21, hence the title Coffee & Canvas rather than Corks & Canvas.

A classy alternative to the Farg0-Moorhead nightlife

Although it is perfectly legal for me to spend my weekends gallivanting downtown Fargo, spilling drinks on my friends, and waking up the next morning wondering about the night before, I choose, for the most part, to stay away from downtown’s “nightlife.”

For those in F-M area who are looking for a night with a little more class, the Corks & Canvas event offers a downtown experience filled with art, music and wine. Attendees immerse themselves in a stylish atmosphere in order to socialize with artists, musicians, business owners and other art enthusiasts.

“Art is the main focus of the Corks & Canvas event,” said Susanne Williams, Willi Nilli owner and featured artist, “people come out to connect about similar interests over a glass of wine.”

Unfortunately, there is one catch. In order to play a part in the stylish lifestyle, participants must be over 21. You can’t truly experience Corks & Canvas without the popping the cork, right?

Wrong. For those under 21, coffee is a perfectly acceptable substitution for the alcoholic beverage featured at this event.

How to look like you belong

For those of you who have decided to substitute coffee for wine, consider the following information to ensure you fit into your new lifestyle.

Dress to impress

So the F-M area may not exactly be the red caret; however, in order to fit in with the Corks & Canvas crowd, you must be willing to put in some effort in advance. Gentlemen, office attire will do. You’re good to go in a simple pair of black dress pants and a button up shirt. Ladies, prepare as if you had a personal fashion consultant.  TLC’s “What Not to Wear” needs to be taken into consideration for this event.

Looking like you can afford this kind of lifestyle is crucial in order to fit in with those who can.

“I may have had to work for at least an hour to buy this simple cup of coffee, but with this outfit nobody is ever going to know,” said Julianna Baartman as we prepared for our new downtown adventure.

Associate with the talent

The key to fitting in during a Corks & Canvas event is being on a first-name basis with the talent. This is definitely more simple in the F-M area than it sounds. All you have to do is ask questions about his/her art; this includes asking about inspirations, prices and where this would fit in your home.

Note: If you are under the age of 21 the last question may need to be a little more creative.

Jacob Douglas Larson and Megan Larson, Minnesota State University Moorhead art students, displayed their artistic talents at Boerth’s Gallery during the Corks & Canvas event.

One of the best ways to get to know the talent is to tip the artist.  Who doesn’t want to know the name of the person who just placed money into his/her hands?

WARNING: Do not try to match tips with the person who just purchased a $5,000 painting minutes before.

Stand close to the serving line

Even though you know you won’t be consuming any alcohol, one of the best ways to look like you belong with the over -21 crowd is to stand close to the serving line. Don’t mingle around the area for too long, just a few minutes or so. This way it looks as though you were going to retrieve your glass, but decided to move on to another location instead. If knowledgeable enough in the wine area, a bold move is to comment on the selection.

WARNING: Be careful about who you comment to. You could end up ruining your chances to fit in when an off-duty police officer calls in backup to perform a Breathalyzer test.  

Kevin Lau served wine at Unglued during the Corks & Canvas event.

Take time to experience

While it’s important to look like you belong at the Corks & Canvas event, you want to take in the experience as well. Once you have prepared for the event, take the time to relax and enjoy it. Take in this leisurely lifestyle, appreciate the art and by all means enjoy the coffee you paid for. Enjoying the event now will only enhance the experience once you are able to legally participate.

Create the experience from home

So you’re inspired by the thought of art, music and wine (or coffee in this instance), but weren’t able to experience it firsthand? No worries. Turn the music and lights down low, grab your favorite beverage, and browse this Pinterest board filled with art that you could have experienced downtown.




Leave a Reply