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Ix Art Mix

Photographs by Annette Cashatt

Photographs by Annette Cashatt

Every week is a new theme: “What do you want to do, but society won’t let you?” Or, “What is your most true/absurd/amazing observation?” Or perhaps, “What is Happiness?”

Once the prompt is announced, partygoers write down an anonymous reply and put their answers into a basket. Silence then falls as event organizer Brian Wimer gathers everyone into a circle. He pulls each response out of the basket and begins a booming theatrical reading of the answers. The responses he reads range from hilarious to profoundly philosophical.

When the discussion slows down, the crowd disperses.  Some walk to a table covered with a lavish amber tablecloth to have Kemper Thacker read their tarot. Others drift to the bar to chat as they clink their drinks together. Still others paint, or draw, or sit in the elaborate wooden canopy outside. These are just a sampling of the activities that happen at the MIX@IX.

Each Wednesday at 6:00pm, the Ix Art Park hosts the MIX: IX@6 at Alhamraa restaurant. Anybody can come to the gathering, and admission is free. Admission to the Ix Art Park is also free, and the park is conveniently located directly beside Alhamraa.

MIX@IX began as people became invested in creating the public IX art park. It came from a desire to make art accessible and influential to all of Charlottesville. The majority of the park’s land was donated by an owner of the IX Building, Mr. Ludwig Kuttner. Many other patrons of the arts have also donated their time, energy, and money to create an art-friendly environment at the IX.

The special event on the night I visited was a model who came in and posed for the artists. As soon as the organizers had arranged the lighting and gave the go-ahead, over a dozen artists circled around her. Among the artists was Joan Schatzan, a PVCC student. I had met Joan earlier in the night at Kemper Thacker’s tarot table where they graciously allowed me to take their photo. Joan is taking one of PVCC’s Drawing classes this semester.

Also among the partygoers were Gary and Shamatiyah. They were both part of a Reggie-fusion band called “The Ulstafarians” and played in Woodstock. Gary and Shamatiyah spent several minutes regaling me with tales of the good old days. We did not get through a third of the stories though as, according to Gary, ”It was a wild time. I can’t tell you everything.” And Shamatiyah explained the atmosphere in Woodstock, but added in that “Sometimes you felt the stages were a postage stamp, they were so small.”

Further exploration of the party yielded many more tales of the adventurous lives of the guests. I simply do not have the space to justify the stories I was told by everyone I met. If anything, my night at MIX@IX showed me the diversity of the guests. And although each person was unique, they each exhibited a certain vibe of spirit and creativity.

If you are interested, the event is hosted at Alhamraa, which is located at 929 2nd St. SE (approximately five minutes from PVCC’s main campus). It’s located within a section of businesses, including Al Dente restaurant, channel 19 Newsplex, and several retail shops.

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Posted by on Oct 16 2014. Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Events, From the Forum. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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