What is art? What indefinable quality magically transforms matter into something that gives one insight into the reality of our surroundings or that of the human condition? What propels it into the upper echelons of brilliance? Is it a consensus of opinion? An agreed-upon collective aesthetic? Even better yet, maybe everything is a work of art. Maybe all of life is art. Maybe every living, breathing second of life that composes each day should be put upon a gargantuan pedestal and praised for its contribution to our collective reality. Are all the seemingly banal objects around us simply waiting to be assigned meaning? Or are they just objects?
Part of the journey is discovery. And to discover one must search. The organizers of the Grinder Creative Arts Expo are on a journey. And their journey rejects all debates about what is and is not art. “At Grinder, you might walk down an isle and find a jewelry designer, a sculptor, a poet, a cartoonist, a tattoo artist and an abstract painter selling their wares to the same patrons,” says Grinder Arts Expo creator Kody Chamberlain. “We challenge the community to reject the pseudo-intellectual nonsense and judge the work for themselves using their own criteria.” Them’s fighting words, boy! Meant to ruffle feathers? Sure! But challenging our community’s preconceived notions about art is what the Grinder Creative Arts Expo is all about — as well as creative endeavors that stimulate, provoke, confront, enlighten, and inform the observer.
Since 2005, artists Kody Chamberlain and Rob Guillory have been putting together gatherings for Acadiana’s creative types whose art and creative pursuits stray far from the beaten path. Whether it is tattoo artists or graphic novelists, junk sculptors or film makers, painters or priests, it’s all represented at a Grinder Expo. “Each expo is a unique creative experience designed to promote and expand the creative community in and around Acadiana,” says Chamberlain. “There is already a thriving gallery community, but many of the fringe arts are blatantly ignored, and we felt that was a void that needed to be filled.”
Over the past few years, Chamberlain and Guillory have produced eight Grinder Expos, hosted by various night clubs in downtown Lafayette — the last of which at Grant St. Dancehall drew over 400 people. Attendees walk about a series of tables set up — LAGCOE-style — examining the various media presented at each participant's display booth. “Participation in the expo-style marketplace fluctuates but usually falls between 30 and 40 individual vendors," Chamberlain says. "If you toss in the live art and various stage acts such as live painting and poetry, belly dancers, and fashion shows, the total is probably around 80 total contributors.”
Expect to see all the above and more at the next Grinder Creative Arts Expo, including new artists like custom book designer Deborah Norsworthy and a doll artist named Ugly Shyla. Come out and support the arts. It is the same night as ArtWalk, so you’ve got no excuse.
Local and state agents Thursday night raided The Keg, the popular college bar located in the area known as The Strip, leading to the (at least) temporary closure of the venue.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday, April 18, 2014:
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
Time and time again, the Lafayette Parish School Board shows an overwhelming tendency toward idiocy, but Wednesday night’s contentious discussion over Northside High School’s teen mother program tops the list of dumb discussions.
C & C Technologies, HIT Fitness, R3 Sciences, the Acadiana Symphony Association and the United Way of Acadiana recognized for innovation.
“The accomplishment of this goal within the next ten years is not only critical for the region to effectively compete with other regions for residents and businesses, but also to provide an amenity for everyone in Acadiana to enjoy.”
Education Superintendent John White says a continued push to try to keep Louisiana from using tests associated with the Common Core education standards are creating "a state of chaos" for public school teachers.
The Acadiana Symphony Orchestra has decided to end its traditional Independence Day spectacular known as Red White & Boom.
Under the deal, Teche shareholders would get 1.162 shares of IberiaBank for each share of Teche stock.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's plan to use $210 million in surplus and one-time money to help balance next year's budget received the backing Thursday of the State Bond Commission, support that was needed for the maneuver to work.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
State wildlife and fisheries agents have arrested a 39-year-old man accused of stealing crawfish.
An East Feliciana Parish lawmaker has jettisoned his proposal to make it harder for a condemned prisoner to appeal a death sentence.
Senators advanced a proposal Wednesday that would let the governor remove New Orleans-area levee board members for violating what he considers to be public policy, despite concerns it would introduce political meddling into state flood protection.
The must have pieces this season
Dave Perkins, LCG Comp Plan honored along with local architects and designers at the 2014 INDesign Awards
Greg Manuel’s Lafayette-based residential development company is taking advantage of exponential industrial growth in Lake Charles.
Longtime Lafayette retailer ventures online.
It’s not how aggressive or conservative you are — it’s planning for risk that matters most.
Thanks to cutting-edge digital technology, more and more consumers are banking on ATMs and mobile phones.
Regional bank bids farewell to Downtown May 30
ABiz takes a look back at the most noteworthy moments for the local banking industry over the last year.
Most experts say short-term interest rates will be unchanged through 2014, but long-term rates are inching up.
Largest recruitment event in Acadiana returns May 21 to the Cajundome Convention Center
A lawyer’s ad should only be a starting point, as there is much more to consider when seeking quality representation.
Thanks to the inaugural 2012 INNOV8, a design for lifting heavy objects was brought to market.
The annual juried competition recognizes excellence in architecture, interior design and historic preservation in Lafayette and the five surrounding parishes.
Cypress Bayou GM hosts open house.
New hires, promotions, transfers in Acadiana business
The scion of a landmark Four Corners restaurant climbs back into Lafayette’s culinary scene as franchisee for a popular burger chain.