POSTED ON AUGUST 21, 2013:
Artists Do It Live
Creating on the spot, artists work toward common goal
Joe Picorale is a busy man. He is a photographer, a yoga-tizer, a really, really, ridiculously good-looking guy, and a festival runner. In fact, he's running two at the moment, one of which is a fundraiser for the other.
Currently underway (or will be this weekend, anyway) is "The Drunken Artist," which will be held at Living Arts at 307 E. Brady St.
"At one of our meetings, a friend was helping us plan it," Picorale said. "We were just talking about how we want it to be classy. 'We want wine, we want artists,' and he just said, 'The Drunken Artist,' and we were like, 'Yes, that's it.' It sounded good, so we grabbed on to it."
It's a catchy title, though it's not incredibly informative.
"It's a live art, live music event, but the main feature is the live art," Picorale explained of this third installment of the event. "This next one coming up, we've got 15 artists, and 13 of them are painters. One of them is a jewelry maker who makes jewelry from recycled materials. And we might have a person throwing a pot."
What exactly is "live art"? Pretty freaking fascinating, that's what.
"People go out all the time to hear live music, which is a form of art, but you don't ever get to go see people painting," he said. "You just see the finished product. So we wanted to share that vulnerable space that the artists are in while they're creating their pieces."
So the artists will come to the event with an idea, with some materials, but without any artwork to sell. The point is to produce it on site.
"They do their work for three hours, and then there's a silent auction that night," Picorale said. "The first time, our theme was 'I Am fill-in-the-blank.' So it could be anything. It really is anything, so it's just kind of, they know what the fundraiser is for, and so they have that in mind, but it's not really directly always reflected in the artwork."
So it's not like the art you see being created will be all the same. Aside from the fact that--unlike the first "Drunken Artist" event--there are many artistic media represented, without an overarching thematic assignment, the artists are completely free to do pretty much whatever.
"One guy started painting a beer bottle one year, and he got way into it, looked at it, and started painting something else totally different," Picorale said. So even the artists don't always know what they're going to be creating, even if they start with a plan.
The hardest part for most of them, he said, is the time limit.
"That's the thing that's difficult for some of them--getting it completed in three hours," he said. "A lot of people take the paintings home holding the back of the frame."
The event itself, as mentioned above, is a fundraiser for Picorale's other festival: The I Am Yoga, Art, and Music Festival, to be held September 14-15 at Centennial Park.
"The first year, 2011, we lost money," he said of I Am. "Last year, we broke even, and then we realized that we can't keep doing it that way, so we thought we needed some fundraisers. That's why 'The Drunken Artist' started -- to pay for the festival so we wouldn't have to lose money. And then it became really popular and kind of got its own life."
So much of its own life, in fact, that it's more-than-annual.
"This will be our second year, but it's our third event," he said. "We're doing a second one this year because it was so successful last time."
The inaugural "Drunken Artist" was a private event featuring six artists. Picorale said there were probably 75 people in attendance, which is probably a good thing, considering it was in a private residence.
"It was really popular, so we decided to do it again, and it sold out last time," he explained.
In light of that popularity, Picorale has expanded the scope of artists.
"We've added a couple of different forms of art," he said. "We did have a decoupage person the first year, and we had the jewelry maker at the last one, so we're trying to expand the style."
But the biggest change is in the venue.
"So now we've moved to Living Arts, where I think we've put our capacity at 250. Plus, having the name of Living Arts attached is a benefit, too, for sure," he said. "The Living Arts venue is much larger, so that's going to be different. The first 'Drunken Artist,' the tickets were a little more expensive and included the wine. The next one, we dropped the price of the tickets and the I Am festival sold wine. Living Arts has a liquor license, so they'll be selling the wine this year."
So yeah, there's booze and live music, but really, the main focus is the art and the creation of it.
"We have the artists set up in the middle, and you can kind of walk around. The coolest thing about is seeing how every single artist is doing something completely different," he said. "Their technique is different, what they're painting is different, and even as they progress, it's completely changing. So that was the idea, basically."
So: you come to Living Arts, you listen to some live music, you walk around and watch people paint. And decoupage. And make jewelry. And just be artistic in general. And Living Arts sells you wine. How does this raise money for a September yoga festival?
There's a silent auction of the artwork, so you get to watch something get created, and then you get to take it home. Right then. And that's pretty freaking cool.
"Half the money goes straight to the artist, and half goes to support the I Am festival," Picorale said of the works created on-site. "The artists can also bring several pieces to sell, as well," he continued, with a small cut of those sales going to support the festival, as well.
As with any cool Tulsa event, there are VIP tickets available ($45 and available at drunkenartist.com; pre-purchase only) that will allow for seating at the event and an extra hour mingling with the working artists.
"From 8-11pm, it's open to anybody, the regular ticket holders," Picorale said. "So they continue painting from 8-10. We'll stop the painting at 10pm, and then we have 15 or 20 minutes for people to continue to bid, and then we announce the final winners and sell off everything. The music will continue for a little more, and then we shut it down at 11pm."
That's going to be a pretty terrific, arts-heavy evening. The fact that it will be raising money for another pretty cool event next month is just icing.
"The Drunken Artist" will be held at Living Arts on Friday, August 24 from 7-11pm. Artists on site will include Bugsy Morris, Holly Higgins-McKinney, Aaron Rayner, Price Jones, and many others.
General admission tickets are $30 in advance and $40 at the door and available at drunkenartist.com.
Send all comments and feedback regarding Arts to email@example.com.
URL for this story: http://www.urbantulsa.comhttp://www.urbantulsa.com/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid%3A63184