By Tracey Porpora
Staten Island Advance, N.Y.
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) This year, Renee Sarno, who hosts “Paint Nite” parties at different Staten Island venues was named one of the “Top 20 Under 40” by the Staten Island Economic Development Corporation.
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y.
In 2016 while working in Borough Hall, Renee Sarno, 29, was looking for a side job to help pay down her student loan debt.
A painting enthusiast, she answered an advertisement for an artist and party host.
This piqued Sarno’s interest because when she was formerly working in Manhattan, she started to attend paint-and-sip events, and found them interesting — and more importantly, fun. Never before had she tapped into her penchant for art in this way.
“I just loved sitting and painting. It was relaxing,” she said.
“I then got big adult paint by numbers [canvasses] and I would go home each night and do them after work,” added Sarno, special events coordinator for Borough Hall.
Before Sarno knew it, she was teaching people how to make fun and easy paintings for their homes as part of a business called Paint Nite.
So she submitted an application, and was chosen to become the licensee for Staten Island’s Paint Nite.
“Before I knew it, I wasn’t just the artist, but the owner,” she added, noting that was in March 2017.
“When I tell people about my background in art, I always say, ‘I’m just like you,'” she said. “I learned from just going to paint-and-sip nights.”
In addition to the painting aspect, Sarno enjoys “hosting a big party” in different popular bars/restaurants — like Joyce’s Tavern in Eltingville, The Phunky Elephant in Rosebank and Trackside Bar and Grill in New Dorp — across the borough.