Taking a quick detour from the mural tour to talk about a really cool mini exhibit we held within the walls of Nomadic Studio. Jim Duignan, Beth Wiedner and I are all educators by trade, and so the lens of our exhibit was almost always about teaching others about art and the process as opposed to just the art alone. Fortunately, we had the simpatico power couple, Ian Bennett and Renee Bennett who presented us with a unique opportunity to provide some exposure and experience to some talented young artists.
Ian and Renee’s Anode Gallery had teamed up with Lonnie of bear.illa to present “Paint Wars”, which was a painting battle for high school students. Almost 30 artists gathered on one night at Anode to have a timed paint-off competition. These were then displayed at Nomadic the next day as part of an auction to benefit Arts of Life and Connatural Artists, two art enabling organizations that I’ll introduce tomorrow. Ever the maniac, on top of hosting the event at Anode the night before, Ian also hand-built 27 easels overnight to showcase the result of “Paint Wars” and lugged them over to Nomadic for “A Night at the Museum”, which was a convergence of all these artists and all their energy.
Fun thing of note, I successfully won the purple and blue painting that is dead center and its sister painting in day-glo orange, both of which were done by the very talented Misha Esterkin. He was a kid then, and in the past ten years has become a regular collaborator with Ian for some large scale psychedelic murals, and an incredibly gifted tattoo artist in his own right. I’ve had those twinned canvases in my home ever since. Nice stuff. More on this tomorrow!