Note: This story was updated a few hours after it was published by the author after second thoughts about a too-much-coffee and daydreaming approach in some passages. Some more photos and caption updates to come in the next couple of days, too.
LUNA Fest 2019 is in the books, with new LUNA STUDIO events wrapping up on Sunday. Did you get a chance to check out the Revelstoke arts festival on Friday and Saturday? If you’re a Revelstoke resident, you likely did; downtown was packed once again as thousands took in exhibits and performances at the third annual offering of the festival, which was expanded this year to include music and studio components.
In no particular order, here are some of my favourites from the festival, with a little more background on the artists and their works. Really, the list should keep going, but I need to complete this on Sunday. There is also a big photo gallery embedded at the bottom with dozens of photos of almost all the exhibits.
The weather held at grey skies and the third annual festival seemed like the biggest yet. The festival really is successful at being inclusive of all festival-goers, kids to adults of all abilities, making sure all the demographics have their good time.
It’s safe to say the community looks positively at the ‘LUNA weekend,’ and there is a lot of volunteerism to prove it. The organizers usually report out on numbers in the near future.
I couldn’t get to Sunday Studio events, which saw artists open up studio and creative spaces to small audiences, another great new addition this year.
The LUNA SOUND show was a good example of Revelstoke’s willingness to engage and have a good time with a diverse lineup of bands, and a reminder that Revelstoke is ready to party to a broad variety of performers.
The three-stage format of the show was another good idea, allowing for mixing and mingling, rather than just sitting put.
Suspension of Disbelief by RAGMOP Theatre
RAGMOP Theatre’s performance featured artistic presentations in constructed costumes. The main performance featured a wire act from a crane high overhead. I have revised what I wrote earlier which was my way of saying I was impressed. Without feedback from anyone, I decided it was too much coffee late in the afternoon. This duo was fantastic and really did connect great elements.
Rob Buchanan’s new exhibit in the laneway just off of Mackenzie on First Street West features a series of 3D works created from used and recycled materials, such as skis and snowboards. The outdoor exhibit, including elaborate gold-leafed frames, takes the appearance of indoor gallery work, yet was created to handle the rigours of the outdoors. A great and welcome addition!
I ran into Peek-A-Booth co-creator Greg Hoffart while he was standing on corner downtown looking through an odd-looking loup. It was actually a security peep hole for a doorway that allowed you to get a fish-eye view outside the door, lest someone is hiding in wait beside the doorway. It was incorporated into the final product, creating a very unusual visual effect when you looked inside the mirror-lined box.
Peek-A-Booth was in one of the tourist info kiosks in Grizzly Plaza. You looked through a specially distorted hole to see a mirror-lined stained glass landscape. It was created by By Jess Leahey, Greg Hoffart, Leah Alison, Kyle Thornley, Kelly Hutchenson, & Rob Buchanan.
I liked the active re-interpretation of public space to create a little universe of wonder; the execution was also great.
Kyle Thornley of Metal Mind Works (see our profile from Revelstoke Mountaineer Magazine here) created a series of large metal sculptures for downtown Revelstoke, including these large pinecones and other sculptures further on down Mackenzie Avenue. They are exceptionally well done, not to mention big and imposing works.
Get it? Michelangelo in Jell-O. Michelan-Jell-O! Except I am not sure if I got it — was it sculpture or performance art? I actually ran into Jose Zimyani a day before the show and she invited me in to see the work in progress. It was Michelangelo’s David done up in super-concentrated Jell-O. It was wrapped in plastic film to keep its form. The team who worked on it — Josee Zimyani, Arleigh Garrett, Duane Dukart and Rob Buchanan — was worried it might melt or crash over when they took off the film.
So, they decided to leave the film on and take it off near the end of the show. In the end, it turned into a little bit of suspense-laden performance art as the team gingerly sliced pieces of wrap off, hoping it wouldn’t fall over. The crowd varied, but it seemed like about 40 gathered around with other people coming and going in the McKinnon Room of the Explorer’s Society Hotel to watch.
Who knew peeling Saran Wrap off of Jell-O could be so suspenseful? I had to leave to go to another event, so I am not sure how it turned out, but it was fun to watch a roomful of people intently looking at each slash of the razor blade.
The actual sculpture and lighting in the room was also done well — if you asked me cold to describe what it was based on the reflection on the wall, I’d probably have guessed David.
LUNA has been a success because it connects with the community in an accessible format.
The LUNA team has done a great job coming up with something for everybody, but credit is due to the community for making it happen. That includes the many volunteers, and so many more who took on bit roles. (I watched out the window as the crane truck set up for the Suspension of Disbelief show. I wondered what the breakfast table conversation was: “You hauling trusses up to that construction site today?” “No, I’m setting up downtown so a guy can be suspended by his hair to swing around two stories off the pavement.”)
I don’t know much about this one, but the execution was great! The line-up was huge!
Zuzana Riha followed up last year’s caribou and bears made from recycled material with this mountain goat installation in front of the Roxy Theatre. It was very well executed and a crowd pleaser.
Speaksilence by Taos, New Mexico-based artist Andrew Manley was an intensely personal reflection on loss and memory conveyed through long-lost love letters that were transcribed onto white clothing that hung in the funeral hall at Brandon Bowers Funeral Home. The work was reflective and solemn, providing a nice time-out from the festivities outside.
This one was fun — a real-life video game where participants whacked the mushroom buttons to light up the giant mushrooms.
In Other News
You have to know Peter to truly get this one. He’s the publisher of Reved Quarterly, a quarterly arts publication here in Revelstoke. It’s known for his tiny paper inside the paper — you literally have to pull it out and fold it up into a tiny folio that’s that’s the size of a postcard case. Here, Peter adds boxes inside of a box for a Matryoshka doll of newspaper boxes. I ran into Peter the next day and he said a measure of success was nobody got hurt opening all the newspaper box doors. 🙂
And so many more
I have to go and need to wrap this story up! I will try to add a few more photos in the coming days. Too bad, because there are so many more photos and works that should be talked about. Here is a photo gallery from the exhibit with caption information. One again, thanks to the LUNA team for putting on another great show! Check out the photos here: