As you read this, C.R. Vavrek could be rifling through your garbage.
Dont fret. The 27-year-old shaggy-chic painter aint trying to score some dirt on you. More likely, hes hunting for funky junk to put the finishing touches on his Gypsy Village, which hes erecting for this weekends Art Detour. Whatever trashy treasures Vavrek finds will be hammered on to the collection of ramshackle shacks hes constructed from assorted wooden forklift pallets, cardboard boxes, and other scrap materials in a vacant lot next to The Firehouse.
This shantytown spectacle, the highlight of last years Art Detour, is back bigger and better for a second year, allowing Vavrek to take another satirical stab at the issue of gentrification in Copper Square. The message? Once theres nothing but million-dollar lofts and upscale businesses dominating downtown Phoenix, hovels and Hoovervilles will be all that salt-of-the-Earth artists can afford.
Artists around here are kinda forced outta neighborhoods and into a gypsy existence, because people with money around here dont really want us around anymore, because weve made their neighborhood worth something, Vavrek says. Theyll profit more if we get the fuck out of the way.
The Village which opens at 6 p.m. Friday, March 7, and operates throughout the weekend will play host to a fortune teller, plastic-bottle bowling games, works by artists such as Glen Woodford and Harley Gannon, and likely a kooky crowd of visitors. One group Vavrek hopes wont show is the cops, who nearly shut down the Village last year after then-property-owner Wayne Rainey became miffed at the painter for failing to ask permission. Rumor has it the propertys been sold to a California developer, so Vavreks not too worried.
I think the odds are better this year that we dont get into trouble, he says. But Ill have a video camera handy just in case the cops drop by or they send a bulldozer after us.