Here’s a look back at one of the crazier art events Ian Shults and I put together for Blue Genie Art in Austin, Texas. The Danger Derby is a no-rules pinewood derby race featuring a 120′ track fraught with dangers the entrants must overcome – a firepit, blowtorches, swinging anvils and swablades. Continue reading
On Monday, April 27, the eighth and final session of the ArtistInc Live program was held before a full house in the AIA building in downtown Kansas City. There, 25 talented Kansas City artists from a wide variety of artforms and mediums gathered as a group one last time to deliver 5 minute Pecha Kucha speeches.
Just before my final show in Austin, I was asked some questions about the Austin Art Scene by Robert Faires, the Arts Editor for the Austin Chronicle. In the midst of setting up the show as well as packing up my belongings before heading to Kansas City, I exchanged some emails and fleshed out my thoughts about my experience in Austin as a self employed artist.
The Austin Critics’ Table announced their Class of 2014 inductees into the Austin Arts Hall of Fame and Blue Genie Art and Big Medium were named, alongside the Rude Mechanicals.
I’ve had the pleasure of working side by side on tons of projects with both groups, along with curating shows at their spaces, advising on the East Austin Studio Tour, and putting together the Blue Genie Danger Derby.
It’s been a great time working with such talented folks in both camps, and I appreciate all they’ve done for me as well. It’s great to see Blue Genie and Big Medium get the attention they deserve for everything they’ve done to the Austin art scene over the years.
To read more about the Hall of Fame inductees, check out this article from the Austin Chronicle.
I even made it into both pictures:
Jan 2014 – Winters in Austin are not very hard. Even the coldest snaps and random and rare ice storms inflict a mere trifle of discomfort and inconvenience onto Austinites. This winter has had a couple of rough cold and wet patches which hasn’t been great, but the worst has been the weather’s affect on the Blue Genie studio. The cold concrete soaked up every ounce of cold and made the inside temperatures way lower than the outside air, which put a damper on the progress on my painting commission.
However, with the better weather, I’m back to work and it’s moving along again.
Despite the near freezing cold, the days and nights prior to the event were spent standing in puddles of icey water to set up the track, and the elements provided a gusty wind just to make sure everyone was properly chilled. Much like the celebration of the holiday in the Grinch Who Stole Christmas, all the weather and last minute improvements to the track couldn’t stop the fury of the 2nd Annual Blue Genie Danger Derby, and it went off without a hitch – topping the last year’s inaugural event.
About 16 years ago, the early version of Blue Genie was asked to make a sculpture for the roof of Fran’s Hamburgers. For all those years, she stood vigilante over South Congress as the restaurant served its burgers, fries and shakes. The family run business lost its 40 year lease to a parking lot for the new hotel being built across the street in SOCO. Fran’s in the shop at Blue Genie awaiting some maintenance and will move up to the final Fran’s location on Cameron.
In conjunction with the East Austin Studio Tour, and Blue Genie’s First Annual Invitational Art Show, the kind folks at Blue Genie are hosting the party of parties during EAST. Backed up by free drinks, sweet sounds from the BURGER CITY DJ, and the awesome artworks of over 30 awesome Austin artists in the Blue Genie shop, the Danger Derby allows you to build your own PINEWOOD DERBY car and race it in a NO RULES race along a 100′ long, 20′ tall track with a myriad of additional dangers added to the mix.