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.
Hopefully he’ll be better prepared today than he was in that Feb. 20 deposition.
They came by the hundreds, arriving from all regions of the state to gather on the steps of our capitol in protest of the Legislature’s long tradition of giving industry the go-ahead to abuse our air, our water and our coastline, all in the name of good economics.
Gov. Bobby Jindal’s recent rhetoric against President Barack Obama has failed to boost his standing among the conservative base.
Louisiana's annual legislative session begins.
The state has hired marksmen to shoot feral hogs from helicopters at two wildlife management areas in south Louisiana.
St. Patty's Day crafts
The former star of Saturday Night Live throws in his 2 cents on the Big Oil lawsuit.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Monday, March 10, 2014:
New menu items ready for the Lenten season
The Cane Fire Film Series screens “MaidenTrip” on Monday, March 10, at the AcA.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The vibe of the tribe done modern
The Louisiana Workforce Commission said Friday that initial claims rose to 2,125 from the previous week's total of 1,964. There were 2,887 initial claims during the comparable week in 2013.
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has stalled action on a $3.5 billion annual school funding formula due to state lawmakers by March 15.
The New Orleans Saints have yet to make it official as of this writing, but popular wide receiver Lance Moore has reportedly been cut by the team to free up salary-cap space on the roster.
While two medical marijuana bills are slated for the upcoming legislative session, what some Louisianans might not know is that the plant was approved for therapeutic use by state lawmakers in 1991.
The agenda is shaping up to be lighter than in previous years. But Jindal is term-limited, with fewer than two years remaining in office, and he saw his last big initiative — a proposed rewrite of Louisiana tax law — collapse without getting a vote in 2013.
Sharper has been held without bail because of an arrest warrant issued by Louisiana authorities accusing him and another man of raping two women.
Two Lafayette men have been revealed by police as the infamous duo behind a caper that shook our fair city to its core.
She’s the daughter of the legendary Johnny Cash, but she’s been a gifted artist in her own right for three decades, and she’s coming to Lafayette.
The Lafayette Parish School Board has received a second letter of demand related to last year’s insurance debacle, this time from Key Benefit Administrators claiming it’s owed $93,000 from the school system.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The Louisiana coastline is vanishing faster than mappers can keep track.
A bill that would have overridden local ordinances prohibiting public and private employers from discriminating against lesbian, gay and transgender people has been pulled within less than a week of being filed.
The panel that selects nominees for a controversial New Orleans area flood control board — a board that is suing more than 90 oil, gas and pipeline companies — is set to discuss legislation affecting its independence.
State prison officials cannot keep secret the seller and manufacturer of the two drugs purchased for executions at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.
State lawmakers will not appeal a judge's ruling that it was improper to use $3.7 million from a probation and parole officers' retirement fund to balance the state's operating budget.
Prepare yourselves for sun
Acadiana's nightlife guide.