we set our sights high for the lopez opening. i had conceptualized the show as a coming out party for fenario. if a cotillion theme would have worked i would have jumped on it. my boss brent and his team have been working for years to get fenario off the ground, and we've had some amazing shows with extremely talented artists throughout the years. however, the daily grind of keeping an art space open and viable has kept b's hands tied in a lot of aspects of the game and while we've been successful in a lot of areas, creativity flows best when everybody's got their just enough on their plate and not too much.
the steven lopez opening was my chance to show that when me and my team are all working at our highest level we can accomplish great things. sometimes during the grind of the week it can be easy to forget what we're working towards, the kinds of moments that make any stress well worth it. openings are an opportunity for me to remember that i have the greatest job on earth: bringing people beauty, inspiration and awe; sharing with my community something that uplifts the spirits. the opening netted several hundred visitors, and we sent several very happy customers home with their own original steven lopez canvas. while the art walk was visiting it was wall to wall in the gallery. douglas, the president of the lane arts council, a man of exacting taste and consistent, professional honesty gave me some superb compliments that left me floating off the ground for most of the night. i got a lot of comments that the show seemed to be geared toward the younger generation, which is somewhat true (my 'rents had to get to bed before the breakdancing battle started :) but steven and i both wanted the show to be something that could be appreciated by people of any age. i wanted older art appreciators to see that art that stems from graffiti can be mature, complicated and intellectual.
many of our friends and family came out to support the show. there were so many smiling faces, part of me wondered if their was a gas leak somewhere and everyone was feeling a bit lightheaded. it felt like fenario's first cotillion (complete with fancy dresses) dj matt nelkin opened the night with a hot set of soul and hip-hop, including a deliciously funky remix of my old myspace song "honey" by one of the stars of the evening erykah badu (who's portrait by lopez was central to his triumphant "after midnight" series, see videos posted below or visit lopez's website to see the timelapse movies he made). dj pls and dv8 both helped on the wheels of steel and made the party classy and dance-able, an irresistable combination.
opening a cash bar, having music and dancing really elevated the mood of the opening beyond just a premier to an out and out art party, exactly what i'm always campaigning for. it was fun to see our friend lou-mega and the r.a. break squad (and a sweaty guest appearance by our old friend karl - and i do mean old) getting down on our great wood floors. its a pretty dreamy surface for break-dancing, great to see it being put to good use, especially with all the art on the walls and the music blasting. it was great to see people's reactions to the space transforming over the course of the night, from wine and cheese and high heels to whiskey and gangstarr. some visitors were surprised to see our willingness to be so trusting with the space, which afforded me the opportunity to remind people that we love using fenario's space for all kinds of art - performance and otherwise. at fenario we want our art events to be dynamic, and multi-sensory.
if you didn't make it to the opening, the show will be hanging through the end of september. we've also got a forum co-presented with the lane arts council about the importance of public art and the history and future of mural art in eugene on september 24th. steven and a few other local artists will be there, and its a chance to come see the fabulous dress i have for the event ;) this show is not to be missed, get off your couch, start up your car, or reserve your plane tickets.