The Rapidian

"Outsider" art to make Big Bang at Mangiamo this Saturday

Over 30 artists will be selling their artwork on the Mangiamo lawn from 9 a.m.- 7 p.m. this Saturday for the Big Bang Outsider Art Fair.
Underwriting support from:

Make a bang

Saturday, September 17
9 a.m.- 7 p.m.
Mangiamo
1033 Lake Drive SE
$5 Admission
RSVP and keep up to date on their Facebook event

 

This article was originally posted on cultured.GR, where you'll find more information on arts and culture events and opportunities, including conversations with creators and arts criticism.

 

Reb Roberts, his partner Carmella Loftis, and the artists they incubate at Sanctuary Folk Art Gallery on 140 South Division march to the beat of a different drum. That’s exactly what visitors can expect from the 30+ artists who will be selling their artwork on the Mangiamo lawn from 9 a.m.- 7 p.m. this Saturday.

Throughout the 17 years Roberts and Loftis have managed their gallery on South Division, they’ve been intentional about curating artists without formal training — outsiders, one might say.

“I thought about all the creative people I’d like to spend a day with, and what happens from that,” Roberts said. “I bring in people I like, who I’m attracted to as people, not just because I think I’m going to sell their artwork. Who do I want to hang out with? Which ones aren’t going to hold it against me if it rains on them?”

Well established artists will certainly be in attendance, drawing their own audiences. Henry Brown and David Warmenhoven are among some of the more notable artists who will be among vendors, as well as artist-turned-cider-maker Chris Schaefer, selling his newest alcoholic creation. The Beerhorst family will be in attendance with their Wonder Wagon.

“But there are also artists who have never had an audience. This is their first time, and they’re invited too,” Roberts said. “There’s a lot of dialogue.”

Self-described by adjectives like “folk, intuitive, pop, raw, refined,” and “eccentricity,” the Big Bang Outsiders Art Fair attracts artists who have skin — but not necessarily a name — in the game.

“We all agree that we didn’t choose the most safe career, right?” Roberts said. “[We] get people together who are willing to take that risk — to be artists, first of all, to show their goods and try to sell them…[those are the people we] want to hang out with for a day.”

That was the goal when Roberts and Loftis began holding their annual art fair five years ago. To draw in the artists, then “let the public respond to that,” Roberts said.

With between 500–1,000 visitors anticipated, the public will have the opportunity to do just that. Roberts and Loftis have intentionally tried to give artists as much space in their booths as possible at the fair, to keep the experience open. With no central PA system, acoustic musicians will be busking at free range throughout the event — including a young harpist.

A rotating troup of food and beverage vendors will be sure to keep the scene lively during the all-day event. Roberts expects a draw from local neighborhoods, including families with children, young homeowners, and ArtPrize wanderers, to name a few.

“You never know who’s going to buy art,” Roberts said. “It could be anybody.”

As to the quality of the art one can expect at Big Bang — that’s up to the viewer’s interpretation. Which is, Reb would argue, the beauty of outsider art.

“[Many galleries are] bringing someone in from New York,” says Roberts, “But hey, we’ve got talent here. I can see Warhol in 50 places in the country or in the world. But why aren’t we packaging our own artists to museums? Why think there’s something better somewhere else? We have the talent.”

The Big Bang Outsider Art Fair runs from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. this Saturday, September 17, at Mangiamo restaurant’s lawn in East Hills. Admission is $5. RSVP and view more details on the Facebook event page.

This article was originally posted on cultured.GR, where you'll find more information on arts and culture events and opportunities, including conversations with creators and arts criticism.

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