I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend! If you follow me on Instagram (chloelikescrumpets), you likely saw pictures last night of fifty 20-somethings wearing outfits not unlike those you might find in a meth lab, covered in acrylic paint. Were you confused? Probably. Intrigued? Definitely.
The Jackson Pollock Party was organized by ArtsClub. This incredible organization is dedicated to making art a social and accessible experience. Membership is free (Like, actually free. Not free for two weeks and then your credit card is charged $200 free). Members pay for specific events, and ArtsClub often organizes special deals if you book early or with a few friends.
The Jackson Pollock Party was insanely fun. ArtsClub covered a massive Bushwick photography studio in paper and plastic and blasted disco from the speakers. Upon arrival, we slipped into coveralls reminiscent of Walter White’s wardrobe and started sipping complimentary Sixpoint Brewery Beer. People mingled for a while- oddly enough I heard many english accents (You never know who you’re going to meet in New York). I met a lot of people who knew nothing about art, but were interested in learning more. I also met people who had studied art history but were now working in fields like tech and law. I love LOVE meeting people who apply their art/art history skills to different fields.
The club leader for the event and founder of ArtsClub, Jackie Dreier, led a brief lecture on Jackson Pollock. She touched on his technique, critical reception, and legacy in the art world. Dreier did an excellent job of balancing the line between “professor” & “party.” She referenced a famous art historian, but also allowed us to laugh at the fact that Pollock’s paintings were called “ejaculatory” in their day. (Truly, people never grow up.)
After the lecture we all took a canvas and started dripping, splattering, and throwing paint. It was amazingly liberating to use my entire body as a tool for making art. Pollock’s style was called “Action Painting” for a reason- it takes your whole body to splatter large amounts of paint at once. Everyone got really creative, which was very exciting. I saw people mixing their own colors- baby blues and gorgeous pinks. A few ~budding artists~ first painted a wash of color on their canvases and then splattered on top. I chose a yellow and black color combination and splattered thick layers of paint until I achieved my desired effect. It was fascinating to see the different routes people took to express themselves.
The Jackson Pollock Party achieved exactly what it set out to do: it taught us something, and then allowed us to apply it. Some of my new friends remarked that this was a project they weren’t embarrassed about trying. It can be very intimidating to make art when you aren’t an “artist.” I fully believe that all human beings have an innate desire to create, and that society suppresses this urge. ArtsClub liberates the creative drive, and the result is delightful.
It was also remarkably easy to make friends in the ArtsClub environment. Beer and paint in your hair are great conversation-starters.
I’m really looking forward to the next ArtsClub event. Be sure to sign up for a free membership online so you never miss an event. This one had 50 slots and sold out quickly, so don’t drop the ball!
Until next time,