Who says astroturf can't be classy? On Friday, August 15, The Sandlot is hosting the pop-up exhibition "Soirée in the Garden" featuring sculptures by Mikey Estes and photographs by Abigail Lynch (who was recently featured in our 100 creatives series).
The show is only going to be up for one evening, but it promises to be the ultimate DIY fancy event of the summer.
Estes and Lynch met years ago while living in Tempe; they're both recent ASU art school alumni, though they graduated from separate programs.
When Estes was approached by the owners of The Sandlot (who are also the folks behind Nanogram Studios) to show his artwork in the shipping container gallery off of First Street and Garfield, he immediately thought of Lynch's photographs.
"I always thought it would be cool to do a show together because Abbey's photographs and my sculptures are somehow related," says Estes. "They're strange, but there's something very everyday in there that makes them uncanny."
Uncanny is a good way to describe the two artists' work. For this show, Estes is exhibiting a series of plant sculptures made from found objects, perhaps the most memorable of which is covered in synthetic hair. One of Lynch's photos features a friend holding a large pink inner tube that looks strikingly similar to a giant donut.
And that's just a small glimpse of a show that is bound to be both extremely compelling and weird as hell.
"Objects are strange. That's why I like them," Estes says with a laugh.
He says his own personal art-making happens somewhere in between intuition and analytical thought. The artwork speaks for itself: His sculpture is clever, but in a way that seems impressively effortless.
"I'm all about high culture and low culture being meshed in some weird ways," says Estes.
It's precisely this sort of high/low mash-up that makes us excited for "Soirée in the Garden." The garden is actually an astroturfed shipping container in the middle of a dirt lot, and the soirée treats will be provided by food trucks.
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For Estes and Lynch, this play between lavishness and kitsch comes naturally. The rest of us are just lucky to get the chance to partake in the fun for an evening.