By Paul Boston
Downtown LA was in for a treat on the evening of March 7th with Create:Fixate’s first event of 2009, Wisdom Within Us, an all night gathering of art and music exhibitions. Taking place in LA’s Premiere Events Center, Wisdom Within Us celebrated contemporary artists and musicians in a refreshing and unique way. If what normally comes to mind when you hear of contemporary art shows is a dreary gathering of self-described high brow modern art snobs discussing capital- A Art, then Wisdom Within Us would’ve been the remedy for your art aversion. Breaking free of many of the stereotypes of the often pompous art world, Wisdom Within Us was truly a gathering, celebrating the diversity and life of contemporary art.
The event took place at the Premiere Events Center in LA, and creativity filled the two warehouses, upstairs gallery and outdoor area of the venue. With two music stages, three bars, jewelry/fashion stations, video projection and live painting, there was enough going on to keep the crowd occupied through the night.
Arts organization Create:Fixate seeks to create ways to enhance culture’s appreciation of art overall, and artist’s ability to connect with their audience. Wisdom Within Us succeeded on both of these terms, presenting art in a creative and communal way that brought together a unique and diverse crowd. Different ages, races and genders gathered together that night under the common banner of human creativity. I might even go as far as saying that the people and outfits walking around the warehouses that night were almost as eye-catching as the art itself!
The event began at 4 PM with a gallery preview and a “Kids Kreativity Zone,” a supervised space where youth could dive into their own expression while parents explored the evening’s exhibit. This family-friendly inclusion only increased the communal, all ages vibe of the night. At 7 PM, DJ’s begun spinning at the two music areas. Amongst other acts, performances of the night included Grammy nominated DJ/producer Adam Freeland, playful and danceable Love Grenades, and strikingly original Irwin’s Conspiracy. Up until about 10 PM, the music served primarily as a backdrop for the art perusing, but then shortly thereafter the tides changed fast and suddenly the diverse crowd of artsy folk were all out in front of the DJ’s expressing themselves through the timeless art of moving, shaking, and bouncing; otherwise known as dancing. Just the fact alone that the same crowd in one night could be both thoughtfully contemplating art and carelessly dancing their hearts out spoke tremendously to the free spirit of Wisdom Within Us.
Throughout all the nights’ activities different artists continued working in the outside area, sharing their creative process with the crowds. From massive, spontaneous painting on an un-stretched canvas, to fantastical portraits, to sleek airbrush painting, the live acts were telling of the diversity of creative processes. All in all, Create:Fixate presented over thirty different artists in Wisdom Within Us, covering a wide array of art forms, from edible sculptures, to cardboard installations, to standard oil paintings. Create:Fixate supports emerging and mid- career artists who might have limited resources for self-promotion and exposure. While some of the work of the night could have been criticized for being relatively amateur, one of the charms of Wisdom Within Us was that, while still being cultured and professional, it wasn’t weighed down with the typical art-jargon pretension.
Much beyond just being a good night out, Wisdom Within Us was an important statement to the unifying power of human creativity. Symbolically taking place in the heart of downtown Los Angeles, a city typified by such objects of human isolation as highways, ipods, and cell phones, Wisdom Within Us was a powerful step away from that mundane individualization and towards a freeing art based community. My personal advice: go to future Create:Fixate events. It’s new, exciting and alive. Few organizations work so creatively at forming effective methods of celebrating art, community and creation.