So I just really wanted to blog about an event that I attended last night that was so rare and interesting that I felt it should have DEFINITELY been more promoted. I’m hoping next year that it is and that it’s even in a larger venue. What I am excitedly referring to is Montgomery’s 4th Annual Art in the Dark. I bought my ticket about a couple of weeks ago not really knowing what to expect. I LOVE ART and would love to paint a few works of my own soon. But for now, I love strolling through the gallery at Shakespeare Park’s art museum where they feature local artists weekly and a lot of well renowned artists as well. This particular event featured nothing but local artists whose works were not just inspiring, but vividly moving. The tickets were a mere $10 and all proceeds went towards supporting these Montgomery native artists.
Art does not seem to be a dedicated interest for most in Montgomery. You will get a handful of cultured people that are REALLY into it and that will purchase works, but it isn’t a big discussion when you have events such as this where others just want their work and creativity to be recognized. I fell in love with quite a few works myself. The event was from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m…I arrived at 5:30. When I walked up to the building that was called The Sanctuary located Downtown, I immediately realized that it was a church that looked as if it had been gutted out and made into an event venue. The windows and shell of the church were still intact, but there are no longer any pews or a church feel to it once you step inside. I gave the hostess my name and she quickly found me on an electronic list she pulled up from a tablet. My hand was marked with an X and I was free to explore.
Just walking inside of the doors was breathtaking. I was greeted by wall to wall and ceiling to ceiling art. It was like an emotional rollercoaster. Some were vibrant and happy while others were dark and morbid. All were thought provoking and it wasn’t just paintings alone. My eyes rested on everything within the category of art. There was breathtaking photography, sculptures, to even works made from household items like coffee grains, yarn, and wood.
The first person I had the pleasure of conversing with about their works was a young man who happened to be a great photographer and graphic designer by the name of Kyle. He snapped several of me and showed me some amazing works he had done and that were available to purchase. The passion in his work was very noticeable. My favorite being a photo of a beautiful Black woman with a low haircut from the side.
I stepped further into the venue and down the aisles of different creative works centered around social and economic issues, feelings, landscapes, and even an artist named JG Waldo who paints your portrait if you possess the ability to sit still for just five minutes of your life. She didn’t do so well with mine but most of them were pretty good and she captured expressions and moods quite well.
Once I made it to the end, there was a live contemporary rock band performing called The Powell Brothers and a large table with an assortment of hors d’oeuvres. A mini bar was set up towards the back at the entrance that served everything from champagne to local and domestic bottles of beer. I chose a Naked Pig Pale Ale. The rest of the night I looked around at least five times. There was even an artist named Ken who used different woods from actual trees like oak and cypress and used them to create beautiful decorative bowls. They were smoother than the ones I would find in a store! The wood was gorgeous and some of it I has never seen look as colorful as his. He was taking slabs from the middle of the tree where you could see the rings that are inside. In addition to bowls, there were intricately made wine bottle corks, hand made marble hearts and crosses that could be worn as jewelry, and cups.
After speaking with another artist whose work have decided to buy that went by the name of Kendra Jones, I decided I was going to try and let JG Waldo paint me once again but was taken out of the line by a woman that owned a photo booth called Pixture Dat. I was snapped a few times with the prop of a crown of course! Not too long afterwards I decided to call it a night. More people began to pour in by the dozens and soon it became difficult to navigate anywhere in the venue without brushing across more than 3 people or having to tap someone’s shoulder to let you squeeze through.
It’s safe to say that I had a BLAST and for once I felt cultured in the usual “close minded” city of Montgomery. A surprising large amount of people attended and supported the event. It was a breath of fresh air and inspiration and I am highly recommending that you buy a ticket for 5th Annual Art in the Dark next year! I will certainly be there and maybe with time and progress I could even be blessed enough to be a part of it.