Sunday, April 28, 2013

Art All Night

Last night we went out to dinner with my friend Stevie Numbers and his charming wife.  We went to the very middle-of-the-road Rivertowne Brewing Company on the North Shore.  The beer and conversation were both very good, the food not so much.

As dinner was winding down (after catching DB~'s oldest brother walking along the Riverwalk with his here-to-now secret girlfriend), I suggested we all check out Art All Night in Lawrenceville.  We missed going last year, so it was something I kept in my mental calendar for this year.  The Numbers clan was down for an urban adventure, so we agreed to re-meet under the 40th Street Bridge and Willow Street.

When we entered Lawrenceville proper, it was obvious to us that we underestimated just how popular of an event this was.  At 9 p.m., the streets and especially side streets were packed with people walking around.  We got lucky and found a parking spot relatively quickly about a block away from the abandoned warehouse/factory that was home to this spectacle of an event.

Art All Night is pretty much as it sounds.  This is the 16th year of it and it runs from 4 pm on Saturday to 2 am on Sunday morning.  It is free to enter and free to exhibit your work.  The event is funded entirely on volunteer donations.

If you were out on Saturday night and wondered where all the weird people were, I found them for you.  They were concentrated in Lawrenceville.  The dress code was....diverse.  Everything from long ankle length dresses to short skirts.  And that was just on the guys. (A few, not all.)

The art was interesting and some of it was quite good; the more interesting art was the mobile kind walking around the warehouse observing the art.  For a people watcher type of person, this was heavenly.  At one point, after seeing the 38th strange outfit on a girl, I turned to DB~ and asked "Where do they buy these type of clothes?" to which she answered "I think you make them yourself."

Obviously we were at Hipster Ground Zero, which is kind of funny since the last time all four of us went out to dinner, we ended up listening to jazz and ensconced in some huge hipsterism and wide variety of characters as well.  There was a guy with a spiked mohawk that stood at least 2 feet above his head in a series of 5 distinct spikes.  How does it stay up -- "Glue," replied Numbers.

The event was super cool, though, for as much as it seems like I'm running it down.  Keep in mind that the four of us are all pretty middle-of-the-road, non-artistic folk, so we were a little out of our element.  I'm sure Mrs. Numbers and (of course) DB~ are very creative, but not that weird artistic aesthetic.  It was a very interactive event with a section devoted to people painting live for all to watch.

There was also a model ( least at 9 and 10 pm!) who was being sketched by a circle of people.  And the bands.  Oh, there were bands.  Bands would have about 20-30 minutes of time to play on the stage and it was a mixed bag of genre and talent.  When we first got there, some type of metal/rock band was finishing up.  They were followed by a folk singer, then some banjo guys, and on and on.  It was good background music to help fill up a cavernous warehouse.

Nearly all the art of display was for sale.  The way that most of it was for sale was by bid, so you would just scan the QR code and enter your bid.  I'm assuming you were notified on Sunday if you were the highest bidder.  There were also some pieces that you could just go to a desk and buy, I think.

As we left at 10 pm, people continued to pour into the warehouse.  It made me wonder what the people who lived on Willow Street (facing the warehouse) thought of all the commotion, music, and people milling around their houses until 2 am, but I guess they were just collateral damage.

Art All Night is truly an experience and a sight to see, so mark it on your own mental calendar for next April.  It was definitely a trip that made "a life more interesting".


  1. Glue? Pfffft. Amateurs. Steve must've been absent from the back row of Metal Hair 101 the day they covered this; You use egg whites. Hardens right up, but washes right out.

    "The more you know!" *dum dum dum DUMMMM....swooosh*

  2. Don't even tell me you mohawked your hair. C'mon now.

  3. You'll have to guess on that one, but even if I didn't that doesn't mean I'm not in a circle of friends that includes some of those who do/did.

    Egg whites, dude. Guaranteed, unless he was a rank amateur. Glue would be a nightmare to get out. Egg whites? Shower. It's gone.