The objective for the May 21 Art Party CACHE is hosting is three-fold: to introduce the community to the new CACHE Studios in Bentonville; to welcome artists and the community back to gathering and collaborating once again; and to celebrate the local artists who have persevered through the difficulties of the past year.
The event debuts the space, which will eventually host artist studios and where anyone in the creative community can make use of the collaborative, shared space. Varied performances and activations in and around the space will engage artists over a full day of creating.
"We look forward to safely welcoming the region's arts community to the space and reconnecting after a tough year," Allyson Esposito, CACHE executive director, says in a press release. "Over the next several years, CACHE will develop a vision for the space while planning and piloting programs to develop local creative talent."
The day officially begins at 9 a.m. when Kat Wilson, CACHE Studios manager, and four collaborators start work on one of Wilson's signature #SelfieThrones for the event. The interactive photography project combines sculpture and other mediums to construct temporary or semi-permanent themed sets where participants create their own portraits by taking a "selfie" photo while seated on the throne.
Wilson, sculptor Griffin Loop, Fort Smith neon artist Derek Maxey, fiber artist Trisha Guting and projection mapping artist Rumwolf will livestream their work over the day until the piece opens to the public at 9:30 p.m. during the party. Each artist is responsible for a piece of the throne that utilizes their skillset. But the construction process will be similar in style to the Food Network cooking competition show "Iron Chef," Wilson explains, in that materials are provided day-of, and the artists only have limited time to create the piece.
"The throne is supposed to be a 'blessings to artists,' so that when artists sit on it, they feel energized and kickstart back our art scene," Wilson shares. "So we know that information, they know what their tools are, what their genre is, then as a team we'll decide what the throne will end up looking like."
It's up to the community, though, to interact with the piece, Wilson adds. #SelfieThrone doesn't exist if people don't take pictures on it and disseminate them through the hashtag.
Leading up to the throne unveiling, guests will enjoy live performances from local artists: avant garde/indie jazz outfit Honey Collective, multi-instrumentalist sound artist Joe Rinaldo Heffernan, and hip hop artist BAANG.
After enthusing over each of the acts for the evening, Wilson shares her reasoning for ending with BAANG: "I just really like his attitude, and he's so entertaining. So original. And the thing about BAANG is he gets a crowd going. He brings that energy, and I wanted to end the performers with somebody that really brought the house down."
Specialty cocktails and mocktails themed to fit each musical act will be available and curated by Pink House Alchemy. At the conclusion of BAANG's set, as the public can enter the in door two at a time to participate in the #SelfieThrone, DJs with KOBV will continue the party through midnight.
After the ribbon-cutting, the vision is to host monthly public art events at CACHE Studios and to eventually house an artist residency space there.
"The area clearly needed CACHE. It already feels so much better being a local artist, you know?" Wilson shares candidly. "It's really nice to have something that's just kind of there for the local artists.
"And, I've got to tell you, nothing feels quite like hiring an artist for something. Because they just get so excited, and they're actually making some money. It's just pretty awesome."