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HOPS 4 HOPE in Austin, TX

Great googly moogly toogly woogly There's a man that lives a little off the beaten path down near Austin, TX. He's a weirdo, he's a lunatic, he's a great cook, and he's one of the most hospitable humans I've ever encountered. That is.. if he is a human. Occasionally I have my doubts. The first suspicion arose due to his last name, Starkey. Star. Key. We could get into detail however it is all irrelevant unless you met the martian himself. He builds things like solar powered motion activated security cameras disguised as mech-praying mantis that are so light-weight they sway in the wind as an actual mantis would

This human-alien hybrid works more jobs than fingers and toes on a Simpsons character. Among his swiss-army knife of employment is the HOPE Outdoor Gallery. Recently the Star Key had invited me to be among the INSANELY TALENTED roster of artists featured during this years Hops 4 HOPE event in Austin, TX. I was honored.

Those who have been to Hops 4 HOPE will inform you that this is the most well produced and curated group arts exhibition in the south. Not only is the focus on the visual arts but each visual artist is teamed up with a brewery AND a chef/restaurant to showcase the art of that trinity. This year there were 18 brewers and chefs paired up with each artist. During the opening reception those in attendance may sample food from 18 different chefs complimented by the beverages of 18 different brew masters all while being surrounded by the artwork of over 40 world-class artists. SENSES OVERLOAD IN ALL THE BEST WAYS but before we get to the show, there is work to be done. Each artist is tasked with painting 1 section of a 4 way collaborative mural and paint a steel barrel that will be fitted with a table top to be auctioned off at the HOPS 4 HOPE event with all proceeds going to benefit the new HOPE Outdoor Gallery

this is a steel barrel lets paint this first paint it into what you ask? a squished 4 eyed chola with happy shoes

see? see what I did there? I said that barrel would be painted to look like a squished 4 eyed chola with happy shoes and now it does. that is one of my super powers. continue

Next up is the mural wall.

4 sided wall, 4 artists per wall. When the walls are lined up they spell HOPE Located directly in the Texas sun my northern blood was quick to boil and the paint sped through this painting before a full listen of Aquemini had time to reach Ms. Jackson My intentions were good

It is a collaboration, after all

Do you know anyone else with an F1 car as a lawn ornament? Starkey remains an exception to your reality

NOW ONTO THE SHOW

There are no process photos of the setup other then those of the barrel you see on the lower left of the following photo

Photo by Dark Mouse ATX

This was a 3 day event. Night 1

Opening Reception, Art + Food + Beer available to all those who bought tickets.

Limited to 300 guests The venue was massive!

the people were great

the art was world-class

and the food was amazing

as mentioned earlier, my intentions were good. sharing is caring. collaboration heals a nation

Day 2: Art + Beer!

Day 3: Artist market day

There were live performances, 1,000's of interesting people and eccentrics from all walks of life, and there was zero time to document the proper magnitude of this event.

Austin is the artist bootcamp.

Show up 6 days prior to 3 day event, get right to work, paint barrel, paint mural, load artwork, build display, sell, sell, sell, network, sell, network, try not to get drunk even though THE BEER IS FREE, network, sell, networknetworknetworknetwork, dont sleep, repeat again in 6 hours 3 times over. Event ends, pack everything back up into vehicle, drive 26 hours back to NY i fucking love it

photo by Dark Mouse ATX

Thank you Miles, Andi, Chris, Lauren, and the entire HOPE team!