Fall is the loveliest time of year, particularly when you don’t suffer from allergies. But it’s not a great time for optimism, with its buzzkill relative winter lurking around the corner. Even that great enthusiast, the author Tom Robbins, has described autumn as “the springtime of death.”
Maybe it’s because they’re too young to notice, but the people behind Artopia—a cross between an art gallery, a costume party, and a concert—are injecting some much-needed optimism and vigor into the season and the city this Friday, October 19, at Easy Street at 7 p.m.
The art show, which happens once every spring and fall, is made possible to some degree by a spirit of renewal, featuring new, local, frequently student artists with each edition. As Artopia’s mission statement says, “Each show’s flavor is slightly different: we hang on to our family from past shows, but we always have new and exciting ideas, artists, and acts to keep each show fresh.”
While the theme is fuzzy—which you might expect from an event calling for attendees to make sure and pre-order their hookahs—the force behind Artopia may be more important than its ideas, which are simple and true. It’s one thing to complain about Birmingham’s apparent apathy and torpor; it’s another to actually do something about it.
The funny thing is, Artopia certainly didn’t begin as an answer to Birmingham’s lifelessness. It happened because art—the act of creation—can be a hell of a lot of fun. Artopia is a product of that enthusiasm and joy, and like some Ramones songs, there’s something innocent about it. That unselfconscious energy is something we as a city sorely need, and based on the early results, it might make for some pretty great art, too.
Artopia is this Friday, October 19, at 7 p.m. Easy Street is located at 2213 1st Avenue N. Pre-sale tickets are $5. The event begins at 7 p.m., ends at 2 a.m., and is open to all ages. For more information, check out Artopia: The State of Art on Facebook.