Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Part II: Pretty Mighty Fine

After passing out (literally, I think) on my couch for a while Saturday afternoon, I was ready for my night at Agora. Agora is an annual event put on by Junctionview Studios and does a great job of showing that yes, Columbus does have a respectable art scene. This was my third year attending and this was easily the best.

We arrived to find every lot in the area full. We didn't even make it to the door before realizing that we had stumbled into a hipster hot spot. We counted 26 different colors of American Apparel hoodies that night alongside the faux flannels, skinny jeans, and vintage geek glasses that have yet to do anyone any favors. The variety of people there was amazing - from lowbrow artist to lil' black dress wearing art connoisseur. I personally think that half of the draw for this event is the people watching opportunities.

Inside, the walls were lined with more new art than in previous years, and this year, there were vendors and stages set up outside. TOMS Shoes was even there this year and several artists customized shoes (so sorry I missed that!). I was really impressed with the variety and talent, and excited to see how far this event/Columbus has grown in the past three years. A few highlights:

Mike Miller - While a lot of the art was more modern, this guy went traditional and put a lot of the modern stuff to shame with pure talent (opinion). He also adjusted his gallery lighting to match the lighting in his paintings, given them a surreal, 3D effect. Bravo.
Jennifer Rospert
Pamela Skehan
Megan Delphia Alexander
Michael Litzau
Laura Alexander - this girl always has some great, detailed pieces.
Jen Adrion
and of course, Adam Brouilette, who makes me smile

Couch Forts - These guys almost completely stopped traffic while they played the inside stage. Not what we expected to hear, but still great.

Wing and Tusk - These guys were into their music, which made you want to be into it, too. I wouldn't say that they were sloppy, but they do need to tighten up a bit. Interesting instrument choices really made the live set. I'm excited to see where they go.

*On a side note, I've seen a number of arrogant local bands lately. One went as far as refusing to get off stage after going over their time. If you decide to be arrogant, you'd better leave us stunned. Just sayin'.*

We wrapped up the night by checking out the dance party and hip-hop showcase. Lots of flailing plaid, not a lot of great dancing (and, the lights were on...). The artists were pretty good, but it was a little painful to watch. Still, I think it was great to see the variety in artwork and music, and I was happy to see the place completely packed. If you missed Agora this year, I would suggest you check out other Junctionview Studio events because they have great stuff going on all year. A huge congrats to everyone who participated and put this together, and thanks for another great year!

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