During Idea Week, I attended Pecha Kucha Vol. 4 at the Wyly Theatre. Pecha Kucha (pronounced puh-che ku-cha) Night began in Tokyo as an event for designers to share their work with each other. The event evolved into a format of 12 presenters, 20 slides each, and 20 seconds for each slide.
Here are some highlights from artists and an architect:
Jessie carried a quiet confidence as she came on stage. Jessie is a Fulbright Scholar who studied in the “Open City” of Ritoque in Chile. The Open City is an experimental project built in the dunes between the Pacific Ocean and coastal mountains. This landscape allows the participants to collaborate on how the environment is shaped by the natural landscape. The project includes architects, planners and poets. The poets put into words what the landscape is communicating to them.
It seems an intuitive way of working. From this work, Jessie began to see how our natural landscapes give us information on how to better develop an environment for us to live. I would like to learn more about how Jessie is applying her research in Dallas. I live in a well planned urban area and it has made a real impact on my quality of life.
Cathey was in all black, appeared confident, strong, and ready. Her poise plus her deadpan humor had the audience laughing out loud throughout.
The challenging thing for me to communicate about Cathey is the drastic difference between her professional work and her personal work.
Cathey’s professional work is tight, sharp and super pro. You can see her Art Center College of Design training come to life for her clients. She has had pieces in theater productions, TV Shows and movies.
She said, “I solve my clients’ art problems, like “…I need an Escalade painted on plywood, and I need it in 2 days”.
In her personal work, you will see women fighting off techno squid in anti gravity lingerie. Also, you will find gems, glitter, and other things collaged on her painted surfaces.
Her personal work since 1998 centers around a planet she created, Cathedonia. She has been highly influenced by news media, science fiction, and sexy ladies. Our news media is known to incite fear and panic in the general population. Cathey isn’t going to be sitting down waiting for the world to end.
“…when there is no electricity, I will still have a job”, and she stated, after a slide that showed paintings she made from live models.
She shared several jackets created for DIFFA, an organization that raises money to fight HIV/AIDS; which proved she takes Cathedonia everywhere, every chance she gets.
She ended with an inspiring message to artists. “If you are an artist, don’t quit. Keep painting and they will come, and they will demand things from you” said Cathey.
Bruce has this cool confidence that only an outsider could really pull off without you questioning his authenticity. He comes complete with tattoos and a mischievous smile.
Bruce and his wife Julie opened the Webb Gallery in 1992. Bruce and Julie road trip all around the United States discovering rare gems and share their finds at the Webb Gallery.
One of the artists he discovered, Hawkins Bolden, an elderly, blind, black man with African wood statues that were painted in the likeness of the white man. The social commentary these works conveyed about slavery and the ability of the human spirit was important and riveting.
Another artist Bruce found, The Rhinestone Cowboy, tricked out his entire home with gems and sparkles. This need to adorn extended everywhere. He even had his teeth covered with red and blue sparkles. The walls of his home were intricately designed tiles and were beautiful.
Bruce also shared with us one of his personal drawings. He joked, “this one, I was drinking tequila”.
He provided us with this casual PSA about creating art towards the end of his presentation, “you know if you aren’t doing anything, art is kind of fun”.
There were two other presenters that stood out to me. Bill Holston is a Human Rights lawyer and an Angel of Freedom recipient. Bill also has one of the most awesome mustaches of all time. I have him to thank for reminding me about the freedom I have living in the USA.
Rawlins Gilliland – NPR Commentator
Rawlins shared funny stories of growing up with an unconventional mother, in a very conventional time. Rawlins has a charming Southern accents and a great sense of humor.
In addition to the presenters I highlighted, there were the following: Elizabeth Whatley – Food for Good Farm at Paul Quinn College, Richmond Punch – Violinist, Mark Gunderson – Architect, Buck and Camp – Renegades in Marfa, Janice Provost – Chef, Steve Rainwater – Geek, and Nick Ley – Tattoo Artist. If you have not been to a Pecha Kucha event in Dallas, I recommend you check it out. Pecha Kucha will engage your mind and inspire you all in the matter of the rapid shuffle of 12X20X20.