Artists Compete in Paint & Pátron at Macayo's in Tempe Friday

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If you happen to be friends with any of the local artists competing in Friday night's Paint & Pátron event at Macayo's Depot Cantina in Tempe, expect to get a call from them in the next 24 hours (if you haven't already). Or an e-mail, tweet, Facebook shout-out, or any other form of communication for that matter, short of semaphore or smoke signals.

They're probably reaching out to cajole their nearest and dearest to come out to the monthly art-meets-intoxicants shindig at train station-like Mexican eatery to not only see their latest works but also to help them possibly win one of two artist competitions (either of which boasts a $250 cash prize) during the event. Lucinda Hinojos, the event's co-organizer, says that such rallying of the troops by local artists has been commonplace prior to a Paint & Pátron party.

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"It's all through word of mouth and Facebook," she says. "What ends up happening is that these artists bring in people who are there to support them, so it's mostly family and friends and whatnot."

And once everyone has turned out, Hinojos explains, they can assist in getting to the finals of each of the art contests taking place at Paint & Pátron, which is sponsored by the tequila company and focuses on giving local burgeoning talents a place to showcase their works. Upwards of 20 artists will complete in either of the battles, one for the best overall painting or drawing on display at the party and another for works that are created on site from 7 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. at Friday night's event.

The competitions are limited to paintings, drawings, illustrations or "any type of medium that they're able to put on a canvas," Hinojos says.

Everyone in attendance can support their particular artist by placing gold-colored plastic coins into empty Pátron bottles by their respective works.

"Every artist submits their best piece of their choice and we display it on one of the walls or they paint something right there at the party," Hinojos says. "And the people that show up are given one coin as they walk in and can vote for their favorites."

Each additional voting coin costs $1 each. And what usually happens, she adds, is that things can become frantic as Paint & Pátron attendees attempt to out-do each other while backing their artists.

"For example, at our last show, we had one lady buy 20 tokens and she dropped it all into one bottle. Another person saw this and started saying, 'Oh, okay, you got 20 coins? I want 40 coins.' So it goes kind of like that," Hinojos says. "The coins in the bottles gets the crowd going and it gets very interesting and gets the artists more excited as well."

The two artists in each competition with the most coins in their bottles by the end of the evening are considered the finalists. Hinojos and other organizers, along with a member of the cantina's management, will then choose the winners of either $250 prize.

Even if artists don't take home the cash, Hinojos says, the event still affords the possible opportunity for other sorts of rewards. To wit: Local painter Tommy Weaver was a runner-up at a party earlier this year but wound up with a pretty sweet coup.

"We had some Pátron reps out at our last show and they loved the event and loved Tommy's work and offered him a $4,000 contract to paint for them," Hinojos says.

The work on display at the parties isn't exclusively limited to painting and drawings in the running for a cash prize, however, as photographs, sculptures, and creations in other media by local artists will be featured throughout the Depot Cantina. Body-painted models will also be in attendance and Patron bottles that are custom-decorated by artists are also on display.

The various train cars around the property will also host art, such as the the efforts of up-and-coming painter Shift Wood of Chandler. Hinojos says he'll be one of the "featured artists" at Friday's event and a number of his acrylic pieces will adorn the interior of a boxcar. Other Valley creatives who will either compete or exhibit works include painters like Kegan Debacker, Sarah Whymer, and Edgar Fernandez

"The type of artists we deal with are all entry-level artists, these are all mostly beginners. basically, we give them a platform to be able to sell, exhibit, and create their artwork. That's what this is all about," Hinojos says. "There are a lot of local artists who don't know where to go and where to start and so we sort of give them that platform."

Note: This blog has been updated since its original publication.

The Paint & Patrón Art Show takes place from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. at Macayo's Depot Cantina in Tempe. Admission is $10.

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