Readers' Choice: Harkins Camelview 5
At the center of Final Friday is Wet Paint, which transforms into B-Side Gallery on the last Friday of each month. B-Side has become the spot to see eclectic local art, listen to live music and, of course, check out what the hipsters are wearing. But the difference here from First Fridays, as far as we can tell, is that the crowd in attendance actually seems to care about the art and supporting the local scene. The well-coifed hair, white belts and high heels are just an added bonus -- a different kind of art, if you will. And we will.
But lately we've noticed that the Icehouse is reasserting itself as a place to see and be seen. Not with old-school raves, exactly, but with the sort of over-the-top multimedia events -- live bands, DJs, fashion shows and art installations -- that Phoenicians adore, including the now-annual LIFE Festival, an alternative Fourth of July celebration of "Liberty, Independence, and Freedom of Expression." Welcome to the new Ice Age.
We couldn't believe our luck -- we scored Jon Haddock sketches and a portrait by Sue Chenoweth, painted on the spot. We drooled over bags by Sherrie Medina and Carrie Bloomston; Heidi Hesse and Colin Chillag both had work for sale. There was even a garage band, the Haystacks, and someone had the great idea of trucking in some fake snow. We ran into all kinds of people we knew, and gobbled an ice pop as it rolled down our arm.
The best part was, for that one weekend, Garage S. made our big city feel like a small town.
Bless you, Patti Hannon, for knowing your way around a sepulcher, and for making us laugh at stuff that used to bug us.
It was tiny details like this -- the wide purple wing sketched onto the set's cubist triptych; the tears welling in Lauren Bahlman's eyes when she confronted her daughter; the wonderful musical bit enacted by Barbara McGrath -- that made this Eleemosynary so gratifying. The result was a sad story told with a generosity of spirit, and an impressive debut from a troupe whose new season we look forward to.