written by Gail Hodder
So, here we are, all friends, at our local watering hole; The Al!bi Lounge. Five visual artist hovering at the beginning of the evening. Excited with the anticipation of the night to come. In the next several hours we will not only get to talk about our artwork, but people will witness the process and the craziness that partakes to achieve the end result.
A shot of tequila is decided on. Celebratory and calming. We set up our easels, our paints and other relative flotsam. Computer and projector, wire and tools, plasticine and palettes. Each of us thinking of something clever to work on and claiming our space at the Lounge. The dance floor is a consideration. There must be room for dancing!
We begin our artmaking. Some more hesitant then others. Showing our art in public is normalcy, creating in public, not so much. But our audience is interested and approach with inquiries. As I make inquires back, I find out that most are art enthusiasts themselves, interested in learning more. Questions of materials, sources, schools, techniques. Others ask familiar skeptical questions, “What is it?”, “Why?” Our answers are practiced. We make them feel at ease with their skepticism.
The night ensues with more wine and more audience and our artwork takes shape. We slip into a comfortable rhythm of greeting our friends and acquaintances who have come out to encourage us. We pause to explain or chat. We own this place for the evening. We have become the performers.
Dancing breaks out as the DJ continues to spin his techno, hip hop, funk. The beat and energy is contagious. It’s getting late now. Our energy doesn’t waiver, but is only heightened. When the lights come on and the end is threatening, we drop our art making implements and join the dancers. They seem surprised, but we are well on our way to catching the groove and we blend in, in an arm flailing, hips swaying, belting out the words celebratory dance. Wahoo’s all around when the music stops.
We discuss when we might perform our art-making again.
We leave exhilarated wanting more and more and all the time.
Wishing the night not to end.
*** check out what city nights is all about here! Don’t forget to sign up for our next event by April 10th!