Friday, June 22, 2007

My artsy fartsy day

For years and years I wanted to go the Utah Arts Festival. But inevitably every year something would come up, or I would forget about it. Last year was different. I finally made an effort to remember and I also had just gotten my Nikon D50. I spent the day taking photos of people and things. It seemed that the day was just bursting with interesting sights and sounds.

(small tangent: In fact I have just hung up one of the photos that I took at last year's festival on my living room wall.)

Because last year was so good, I made a point of going again today. But is seems the shine has worn off. I don't know if it was the heat, or that it seemed that there wasn't as much artsy stuff, or that it was a lot of the same stuff, but I guess as with many things in life, nothing is like your first time.

I like going to these sorts of things because I feel like I get my culture fix -- meet artists and see wacky/beautiful/original ideas. This year I noticed that it seemed so commercial. Besides the fact that I paid $4 for a Dr. Pepper that would cost me .79 at 7-11. Avon even had a big tent set up, when did Avon become art? I found out that a booth cost $600. How is a starving artist supposed to afford that? And not to say that art is not priceless, but the art I liked I could not afford on my budget. So although I did see some cool things, I felt that it had become more corporate to me, and in turn lost some of it's appeal. In fact, I took only a few photos and was feeling very uninspired.

On my way home I stopped by a building, my friend, Erin had told me about. It was to be torn down, and the owner invited artists to do whatever they wanted to it. When she first told me I thought it would just be a mess of graffiti. But the moment I saw it I was in love.

The outside is completely covered with color-- from graffiti art to things that would be at home in a museum. It was beautiful and indescribable (that's why I took a lot of photos). In the few rooms on that I could go in, there was art using manikins, shoes, strings, even the floor was painted. By the different styles you could tell that many people had a contributed. There was so much to see that it was hard to take it all in.
What I really thought was great was that, I sure without a lot of planning, all of art flowed together perfectly. There were no boundaries but nobody overstepped theirs. And of course I got some awesome photos.

I met one of the artists on the way out of the building and he told me that the reason I couldn't go in was because it was slated for demolish soon. He was just as in awe as I was about what can happen to a building when total creativity was let loose on it. It's hard to believe that they are still going to tear it down. (he also told me that contractors hired to tear it down said they feel the same way, and it's going to be hard for them to destroy it.)

I just find it interesting that in my 30 minutes at this building, I felt I had seen more, and more amazing, art than I did at my four hours at the arts festival (no offense meant to those artist at the festival -- there was some incredible stuff.) I have often believed that art is indefinable, but now I do have photographic evidence of what it is to me.


S said...

I felt the same way about Art Fest. Way way over priced. Even the people watching wasn't as fun.

editor said...

The building pics are cool...much better than the few pics I saw from the festival (although the goat was pretty sweet). The kid's hair is cool too, but is she playing a gameboy? Starving artist my ass...somebody's got at least $100 to throw around. Shouldn't that kids be doing some water colors or something?