Wednesday, May 19, 2010

LES ARTISTES: Grace Rogers

An interview with Grace Rogers,
the mind behind Les Artistes: The Revolution

Les Artistes is a brand new art & fashion show being put on at the Scoot Inn this Saturday for the first time. Grace came up with the idea when she felt like she kept hearing from her artistic friends about their slacking due to the difficulty in finding a gallery that would show their work the way they wanted it to be shown. From this lament, Grace decided to put on an art show for her friends. Combining this art show with her own desire to put on a fashion show (having quite the knack for fashion as a model), Grace has put on her own larger-scale multi-artistic show. It should be a very good time and show the city what Austin "artistes" have to over.

How did you pick the talent to be featured?
I picked the artists because some of them were personal connections that had consistently impressed me and the others were recommended by the artists I knew. I was also wanting to bring together an eclectic array of artists that would represent a variety of art mediums.

Andrea McArdle is painter and personal friend since childhood who has been painting and doing all types of art since she was three. Francesco di Santi is a portrait artist who did some amazing portraits and personal stories about Hurricane Katrina who I met at Monkeywrench Books. And Chantelle Rodriguez who I met her through a friend is a great collage artist. The other three artists were recommended by the artists I knew personally or other friends.

The fashion designers, two of them I knew personally - Aaron Torres and Lindsey White from Cream Vintage. I love vintage clothing. It's one of my favorite stores, and I got to know them as friends after seeing them so many times in the store and at fashion shows we were all involved in.

Have you thrown anything like this in the past? Did you run into any difficulties putting this event on?
I have never thrown an event of this size before. I am just a very ambitious person, sometimes over-ambitious, and sometimes to my detriment. I just had this idea after returning from a magical, glorious trip to Marfa where I was in a fashion show there and inspired by all the people I met out there, who have now become my friends.

I had always wanted to put on my own fashion show and after the trip to Marfa, I was inspired to make my dream a reality. It became a fashion and art show after the first interest meeting where Andrea McArdle encouraged me to add an art component. We didn't want this event to be "just another fashion show". We wanted it to be more. I added the social activism component to galvanzie artistic and creative and everyday young people. I wanted them to realize that we each can take responsibility especially as young people, to become involved in and fight for something we believe in.

The difficulties I encountered came from being over-ambitious. Haha. I really was working on "Marfa-concept" where you just think up something and magically it all just comes together. With an event of this size, that doesn't work here in Austin. Basically, I ended up taking on the majority of the responsibility after all four committee members all dropped out of the project. But I said to myself "No matter what, I am getting this done. I promised the artists and designers this opportunity, and I'm not going to let them down".

So I had to coordinate with all six artists, all four designers, all 26 models, find the venue, figure out lighting and sound, print the posters and fliers, get all sponsors, find a DJ, and schedule fittings and meetings at my apartment. I have a chronic pain disease, so this project has been very over-whelming for me to do virtually alone.

What do you have in mind for LES ARTISTES in the future?
It is opened-ended what is next for Les Artistes: The Revolution. I would like it to become a bi-annual tradition here in Austin. If not, it will become a yearly production. There is so much wonderful artistic talent lying virtually undiscovered here in Austin and for that talent to thrive we need the continued support of the Austin community with events like this.

What are your expectations for the party?
My vision of what the show will be is less of a party and more of a revolutionary event. A fashion and art show. We are hoping people will come to be inspired, to check out the art and the clothing the designers have for sale, and maybe buy a couple of pieces.

But there will definitely be a party aspect. It will be fun, rowdy, and energized. First of all- we have Soul Track Mind opening the show. They are an amazing Soul band whose lead singer Donovan Keith sings like Aretha Franklin and dances like James Brown. He is great with the audience and knows how to keep a party going.

After the band plays and after the fashion show, we have DJ Josh Wenzel (a last minute addition) who will spin an incredible mix of Soul, Funk, and Dance music for the after-party.

I expect everyone will have a great time, be inspired by the art pieces they see, the stories they hear from the artists and designers about what went in to making their pieces. I expect people to be wowed by the fashion show and the fabulous set design. And I expect everyone to have a fabulous time- especially at the dance party after the fashion show! I'll be out there, shakin' rattlin' and rollin'.

Scoot Inn.
May 22nd.
Doors at 7:30pm.
Art Show 8pm-12am.
Fashion Show 9:30-10pm.



great interview!

Erin Pea said...

Hey! I just wrote a review about this show. I'm actually from Toronto and thought it was a great show. I totally loved Austin. Tell Gracie to get her ass over to see my fine article on Austin. I am sure she'll be glad to be featured :) xo