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.
The Acadiana Center for the Arts and the Lafayette Economic Development Authority have announced a new artist stipend program, ArtSpark, designed to offer financial aid to local artists.
A group supporting taxpayer-funded private school tuition vouchers is appealing a federal judge's order that Louisiana must provide regular reports to federal officials on the state's voucher program.
The Discovery Channel has canceled reality TV star Will Hayden's popular "Sons of Guns" show after his arrest on an aggravated rape charge.
The LPSB will finally hear from the attorney it hired to investigate the superintendent at a special meeting Thursday at 4 p.m.
I was interested to hear what Lessig would say to an almost exclusively conservative audience of successful businessmen and businesswomen in the heart of what is now a deeply red area of the country.
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Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Authorities are investigating a report that a student there warned the principal of impending violence similar to that depicted in the movie "The Purge."
Saints cornerback Champ Bailey has played for more than a handful of playoff teams during a career that has seen him selected to 12 Pro Bowls.
Louisiana's Republican governor has filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration, accusing it of illegally using federal grant money and regulations to force states to adopt the Common Core education standards.
Police say a 56-year-old Lafayette man walking behind a dump truck died when the truck hit him as it was backing up.
Wednesday's Blogs from the Bog!
Fifa under fire for fake turf plans; freed journalist back home; corporate conversions rising and more national and international news for Wednesday, August 27, 2014.
Newly established honor recognizes outstanding local attorneys; Neuner and McGoffin win President's Award; and Blanchard named Outstanding Young Lawyer.
Daily paper constructing new digs near production plant on Rieger Road at Siegen Lane, near I-10.
Investigation finds Arnaud’s Furniture, Carroll Building Specialties and Crazy Charlie’s Shoes running misleading going-out-of-business sales.
Critics say workers and retirees are being held responsible for the Jindal administration's mismanagement of their program.
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is a proud papa of new baby girl.
The books on Louisiana's last budget year have been closed, but it took a bit of borrowing from this year to make the numbers work.
"This is yet another example of the failed leadership and lack of focus that Hunter Beasley has exhibited. He’s shown zero regard for kids, teachers or even passing a budget for the school year that’s already started."
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Cutting edge if you dare
The Iberia Parish Coroner responded Monday to the attention surrounding the questionable shooting of Victor White III, a black man from New Iberia who died April 2 while in the custody of local law enforcement.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Two months after lawmakers agreed to create a $40 million higher education incentive fund, no decisions have been made about how to divide the money.
With Drew Brees back healthy, the New Orleans Saints are free to work on the little things that can make the difference between a Super Bowl run and something less.
"Just as the devil does not deserve equal time with God, and a lie does not deserve equal time with the truth, the remarks of William Donahue have no place in any respectable journal seriously dealing with a serious story and pursuing truth."
Incumbent U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu and her lead GOP challenger Congressman Bill Cassidy are running close when it comes to money. Landrieu has $5.5 million to Cassidy’s $5.6 million in the bank.
With expectations mounting that Gov. Bobby Jindal will soon announce his campaign for president, attention is turning to not only who he will bring along with him but also what will transpire politically back home during the transition.