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Sonic Bloom 2019 Interviews

Inside Out Presents: Sonic Bloom 2019 Interviews

Megan Hamilton

What year at Sonic Bloom is this for you?

“This is actually my first year. I was supposed to play last year and my flight got cancelled. I played the Unified Field Pre-Party at Cervantes’ one year where they went really ham with the lineup. It was like  CloZee, Psymbionic, Louis The Child, Maddy O’Neal, Filibusta, and like twenty more people. It was a crazy ass lineup. That was my first show ever in Denver. I remember going into the green room and being starstruck seeing all of my idols down there. It was pretty overwhelming, I had never even been to Denver, and even more crazy, now I’m signed to CloZee’s management as well.”

What would you say is your favorite part about playing at Sonic Bloom?

“It’s awesome how they don’t make everything super secure here, in terms of being backstage. Some festivals are more uptight about only being backstage during a certain time slot, and others allow you to be in that space with all of the other artists. You really take away from the overall experience artists aren’t allowed in that collaborative environment. We’re all running in the same circles playing shows across the country and although we are connecting digitally, we barely get to see each other. I just created a song with a guy in Nova Scotia and I get to meet him months later for the first time in person, at a festival we are playing together in September. So it’s the little things like that. It sucks when we have to restrict the time that we all have together because it really is a camaraderie of us artists. We get what each other goes through.”

Want to highlight any special moments from your set last night at the Hummingbird Stage?

“Yeah! I played a couple of unreleased tracks. I have quite a few unreleased edits in general that I am always throwing in my sets. Denver really likes the funk, so that’s always fun. And, I love house, so I always try to tie into that as well.”

How is it bringing the house vibes to Sonic Bloom?

“House can be regional, so it’s different playing it everywhere really. Minneapolis is very techno-oriented because it’s close to Detroit, but it’s not really a huge house city. But same with Michigan, it really depends where you are.”

Compared to your home city of Minneapolis, how is it playing in the Greater Denver area?

“My largest demographic statistically is Denver on all of my streaming platforms. That includes Soundcloud, Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play, it doesn’t matter. Minneapolis isn’t even top five. A lot of Canadian cities are up there as well because they love the funk vibe.”

You have a strong European vibe throughout your music, want to explain where that is derived from?

“So I was initially obsessed with, and discovered, funk and glitch-hop being something that people were doing together because of The Funk Hunters. About six years ago, I heard the song, “The Plan,” and after that, I thought it was a really cool thing to reincarnate something special and make it danceable in modern times. There are songs that wouldn’t even be getting an air time anymore unless they were remixed. I really hate how sensitive the remix community is getting because it’s a lot of what I do and it’s a huge part of the hip-hop and electronic music culture. It’s paying homage to something, bringing it to life again. People should be able to enjoy it in a new light, I think that that should be respected, not censored. But my European influence also stemmed from Ghetto Funk, I became obsessed with everything on there. Will took a chance on me and I ended up releasing my first release ever out of the UK.”

Your new EP came out last month, ‘Feed the Animals,’ how was that release?

“It was really cool working with Gravitas [Recordings] to release this album. There was a lot of hard work that went into making this a successful release. We still have a lot planned to push it out there as well.”

How has it been integrating it into your sets?

“That was a little interesting at first. The whole concept of the EP stemmed from my love of a mid-tempo and funk beat. I had to really ask myself what direction I wanted to go in when creating this multi-track album, and I realized that I love both of these tempos. So, it’s basically just four on the floor, house percussion, house sound design, but it’s all slowed down to a funky tempo.”

What is the biggest thing you’ve learned from creating this EP?

“That you can do new things still. It feels hopeless sometimes because you’re often like damn, that sounds like this person or that person. It’s hard to find an original sound right now. It’s not to say that no one is making midtempo house right now, but it was interesting to merge the two things I liked the most and make something sort of new out of it.”

Any new projects, events, or music coming up?

My EP release party is this Saturday, June 29th. I am also coming back to Denver to play with Bass Physics and Cofresi on August 24th at Cervantes’ Main Room. Early birds sold out already for that. I am also doing some really cool merch right now. I do all my own artwork. I reworked the art from our video, “Forbidden,” into the merchandise, recoloring it all and redrawing it. It’s a really nice and refreshing medium from music sometimes.”

 

Russ Liquid

What year at Sonic Bloom is this for you?

“I have been at Bloom several times. I just love that this festival is very intimate. There is a lot of care that goes into everyone’s experience here. Some festivals are very quick running musicians through, but here they curate a really dope vibe for everyone to just have fun, and it really feels like a family affair. That’s really why I like it. Even as a part of the audience here, and behind the scenes, they treat all your artists great. When I first played here, I started at the bottom of the lineup, and I feel like my treatment as an artist has never changed, which is a really cool thing. I think that’s important. Everyone is working really hard and when you treat an artist well, it allows for us to do our job as best as we can and feel like we are welcome. The other thing that I really like about this festival is the superjam concept. I can’t wait to be able to perform with other amazing musicians in the Sonic Bloom Orchestra in an hour.”

How is it switching vibes from The Russ Liquid Test to performing in the Sonic Bloom Orchestra?

“It’s going to be very similar. I’ve never done like a live band, no computer, kind-of-thing, where we have no backing tracks and it’s very electronic. It’s fun to release my songs like how I wrote them, but now with the resources of a six-piece band.”

You definitely bring the NOLA vibes to the table, which is your background. How is it different playing in Colorado?

“I love Colorado. This is why I wanted to do this here. They all love music, they’re very warm and welcoming. I knew that this would be the perfect place to test this new idea and music.”

What is inspiring in artists to you nowadays?

“I appreciate people who are on that level of success that they still have the drive that originally got them there. Take Anderson .Paak, he crushes a show at Red Rocks, then goes to play an after party on the drums. Like, every single night. Another person that is like that is Skrillex. I had an opportunity to meet Skrillex when I was touring with Gramatik. I watched that guy rock like a 50,000 person crowd for two hours, then straight to the greenroom to DJ for like 3 hours. Everyone is partying around him and he’s just like ‘I’m in the zone.”

Is that the most people that you have ever performed with on-stage?

“No. We actually did an acid test. The first Russ Liquid Test was in New Orleans, and that was like a 14-piece band. It was a madhouse.”

You master all of these different instruments. What do you do to master those skill sets and progress? 

“It is a full time job. It is a difficult balance trying to keep eight instruments going, as well as producing music and traveling. But I love it. Hard work. But this work is what I love. I would be doing it whether I was getting paid for it or not. I feel like I beat the system.”

So you have some events coming up, including WaveSpell, Hookahville and Joshua Tree Festival. Want to talk about those?

“Ah, WaveSpell. I love Belden Town. It’s like a little remote sanctuary on the side of a river. Joshua Tree will be awesome too, I’ve played there before. My favorite part about Joshua Tree is this boulder park. It looks like this giant just grabbed these giant peebles and set them there. You can climb these rocks forever and you think you got to the top and there’s even more.”

Any new projects, events or music coming up?

“What we are going to be channeling is like old-school raves and creating bass shows in some cities. They are going to have local elements and create an overall intimate and immersive experience.”

 

Lespecial

Luke Bemand – Bass, Synth, Vocals

What year is this at Bloom for Lespecial?

“It is our first time playing at Sonic Bloom. This place is dope. Really cool grounds and goes way past just a festival laid out in a big field.”

Anything special you guys are preparing for your set?

“I think that we are going to do a version of Nirvana’s “In Bloom,” like dub style in honor of Sonic Bloom or just a tease of it. But we normally finalize a setlist right before we head on stage. We are going to play some newer songs as well that we have been working on for awhile. Newer songs that we are beginning to get on a new EP.”

Can we get a date for said new EP coming out?!

 “We have really just been working on it while we are on the road. I would say sometime in 2020.”

You guys have three designated synth players, do you want to elaborate on that shared power control or flow?

“Sure! Jon and I both play analog keys, like digital synths with no laptops or Ableton. It’s cooler because we don’t play with a click or in-ear, so we like to make it on the fly. It’s improvisational in the sense that we can flow with rhythms and adjust tempos, if we want to go into a slower hip-hop groove then speed up the tempo. It’s difficult to do that when playing over tracks, so playing our own synths gives us the freedom to improvise with electronic synths.”

Can you guys share any covers or adjustments you’ve made to fit into your Sonic Bloom set?

“Doing like the Dub influence at Bloom is definitely something that we talked about. We really brainstorm in the van on the way over and catch the vibe of the festival to determine the set. We have like 5 covers that we like to bust out at festivals. Here, we will probably do a Primus, Nine Inch Nails or Oysterhead song.”

How has your stay in Colorado been so far?

“It’s been really cool. We have like a little convoy of friends to hang out with here. We had a late night last night at Red Rocks for Umphrey’s McGee. We call it Red Rick’s place.

Is playing at Red Rocks Amphitheater a goal for you?

“Yeah, definitely. I can see it happening here in the next couple of years. I think we are knocking on the right doors. The doors to Rick’s Place.”

So, Beanstalk Festival is next weekend for you. Want to talk about that?

“Yeah, we have been there the last two years actually. Last year we got to chill on the river in floaties with some brews. Very chill. It’s not really something you can do at any other festivals we play at.”

Want to touch on how it is playing in Colorado compared to the East Coast?

“We played a few festivals already on the East Coast this year. We did Summer Camp two weeks ago, and after this we have a hometown show when we get back. Then, heading to Tumble Down in Vermont, a New York festival, Whirlybird, and Mazzstock. It’s a different vibe out here for sure. Colorado has been super receptive to us. We’ve been playing here for like three years now. We hit Cervantes in January and headlined there for the first time. Then we did the Aggie Theatre with Russ Liquid and Michal Menert.”

Any new projects, events or music coming up?

“Other than just chipping away at the new album and writing songs, we will be focusing on working on the album for the remainder of the summer. We are doing some recording in Denver this week. We have some cool collabs in the works. Then we hit the road. We will be playing at The Ogden on September 15th with Pigeons Playing Ping Pong.”

Who are you most excited to see on this lineup of Sonic Bloom 2019?

“I really wanna see Spoonbill!”

 

Drrtywulvz

Is this your first time playing Sonic Bloom?

“Yes, and dang… what a festival.”

What do you feel about SB’s vibe and overall feel as a festival?

“I’m giving it two paws up. Well organized, friendly crowd, energetic dance floors and beautiful venue. Not to mention, a few of my favorite sound systems and artists were involved. You can tell this festival has been doing its thing for as long as it has.” 

Any special moments, premieres, or bust outs, from your set?

“#1 – Playing music for my beautiful friends and new fans. People were getting DOWN! I could tell folks appreciated my set and the new material I brought out. Also ,just witnessing the hilarious festival creatures having fun being present in the moment.”

#2 – Talking to so many folks throughout the weekend. It was a much needed reminder that the music is doing its job, and helping people and making them stoked / happy, etc. Also, a reminder that the community and scene is doing great, and more diverse than ever.

# 3 – I debuted 3 VIPs of older tunes in my set. I also unveiled 3 new songs nobody has heard. I dropped a total of 15 unreleased tunes, and 6 released tunes. I was most excited to drop “Eclipsed” (Re:VIP 87bpm) and “Life After Rhonda” (VIP). Both of these will be released soon this year.”

How does playing in CO differ from your hometown or most toured cities?

“Nothing like Colorado… I’m telling ya. It’s become a second home and probably my strongest base. People here are potent. There’s a lot of amazing artists all squeezed into one fun and dynamic state. The artists here support each other and will often be found in the back of the club just listening or hanging out. The visual artists here in Colorado also have a lot to do with the success and vibe of the community IMO. You have some of the best artists, painters, VJs, muralists, glass blowers, jewelry artists, etc, out there just crushing it.”

Any new music, events, or special projects coming up?

“New album is coming. I can’t say much at this point, other than I know everyone will love it. Well, maybe not everyone… Certain people are definitely going to like it alright. I’m about to head to Canada in a few weeks for Future Forest Festival in New Brunswick. I’ve got a handful of other festivals coming up too I’ll be announcing soon. Hoping to get a second chill EP out this year as well, but it’s taken a backseat to these peak night sets I’m often playing.”

Who on the SB 2019 lineup were you most excited to see?

“Stand out sets for me were The Widdler, Merkaba, Cualli, A Hundred Drums, Detox Unit. Also The Duffrey and Kll Smth secret sets in the Yoga Dome. I didn’t know Yoga was that awesome!”

Anything you would like to share about your Sonic Bloom experience? 

“It was beautiful and I hope SB will have me back again next year. I can’t believe this was my first one! Looking forward to seeing what happens with this festival. I feel lucky and blessed to have such a receptive and kind community just down the highway from me at home. It was mind blowing to get to talk to so many of you guys over the weekend. Thank you.”

 

The Party People

What year at Sonic Bloom is it for The Party People?

“It is our fifth year performing here as The Party People!” – Benjamin Clark 

You guys are all about collaboration, want to talk about how that is your roots and how that was brought to your set at Bloom?

A lot of our studio music, we brought in multiple people to record the layers. We essentially try to recreate our studio productions live by having guests sit in. It really just brings in a lot more excitement to the show.” – Ben

“We had our buddy that collaborated on our originals with us for the show come on stage. We know the vocalist very well, the instrumentalist… when we sample something we replace it with someone we know to cover that part.” – Daniel Evans

Your guy’s motto is “Partying with Purpose,” Want to talk about that purpose that you are bringing?

“We have the concept that people have all of this conflict in their life and so little time where time doesn’t matter. So our drive is to make however long our time slot is, 60 or 90 minutes, to make time stop for people to enjoy. It’s just us and there’s no worries.” – Ben

How have you guys seen Sonic Bloom transform over the years?

“Every year we plan Sonic Bloom, the crowd has an immense energy. Constantly dancing and it’s definitely my favorite crowd to play to.” – Ben

“It is our fifth year playing at this venue. So it’s really cool to see the expanding infrastructure, seeing more people, campsites, sponsors, and just seeing all the involvement growing.”  – Dan

Where do you guys see yourself 5-10 years from now?

“Definitely Red Rocks.” – Ben

“Playing internationally for sure.”  -Dan

Any new projects, events or music coming up?

“We are playing Naughty Pines Music Festival on July 11th, and July 12th we are headlining the Town Pub in Steamboat. We just fully finished a new song on Tuesday and are in the process of getting that uploaded for a hot fire new single out!” – Ben

Who are you most excited to see this weekend?

“Opiuo” – Dan

“FunkStatik, Russ Liquid, Opiuo” – Ben

 

Lapa
Ilya Goldberg

Is this your first time playing Sonic Bloom?

“This was my 6th Sonic Bloom.”

What do you feel about SB’s vibe and overall feel as a festival?

“The vibe has always been strong and warm… to me personally, it holds a time and place for reuniting with old and new friends.”

Any special moments, premieres, or bust outs from your set?

“Lately, I’ve been writing a lot of new music, so at Sonic Bloom my set contained one hour of unreleased music. That was fun and exciting!”

How does playing in CO differ from your hometown or most toured cities?

“I like being in the mountains. Natural world in Colorado is particularly inspiring for music-making.”

Any new music, events or special projects coming up?

“There are many ideas and sounds that I’m currently working with. Also, lots of sonic discoveries in the studio sessions on my own and with friends. Stay tuned in the near future for updates!”

Who on the SB 2019 lineup would are you most excited to see?

“This year my time at Sonic Bloom was very short. Other than playing my sets, I only had just enough time to wonder through the festival once or twice, and catch a little bit of music and a few smiles. I would have loved to see Opiuo and Mark Farina.”

Anything you would like to share about your Sonic Bloom experience? 

“At no surprise, I was thrilled to see how well the festival came together. It’s a real pleasure to watch an event like this grow and develop over the years. Loved catching late night beats at Yoga Dome, that place was bumpin’!!!”

 

On-site Permaculture Co-Coordinator: 

Eliot Kersgaard

MyraMakes.com

What is your background teaching/being involved at Sonic Bloom?

“This was my fourth year at Sonic Bloom. I am always involved in both the Rainbow Lightning Children’s Village and the Permaculture Action Hub, conveniently located next door to one another 🙂 Over the years, I’ve taught workshops from “Journey to Cloud City: A problem-solving adventure” to “The Physics of Relationship” and “Make Your Own Game.” Every year I come to Sonic Bloom with a fresh perspective and something new to offer and becoming involved with both Rainbow Lightning and the PermaHub has allowed me to weave together my love for the permaculture community and my experience as an educator. “

What is your background in Permaculture or anything relevant you would like mentioned?

“I’ve helped organize about 8 Permaculture Action Days in Colorado since I started my journey as an organizer back in 2014/2015. My first experience with permaculture was actually through biomimicry, and I received a Biomimicry Design Certification from the US EPA in 2014. I finally received my Permaculture Design Certification last year with Boulder Permaculture.”

Can you talk a little about the involvement this year for the Permaculture Academy before the festival started? Some key special moments or highlights from this time? 

“I did a work-trade this year with the Permaculture Action Network, helping organize the Permaculture Action Day in Walsenburg before the festival in exchange for being able to participate in the Permaculture Academy as a student. I am working toward becoming a permaculture teacher and leading my own courses and academies, and wanted to participate in the Academy with Ryan Rising, Mike Wird, and Stephanie Syson as instructors because I wanted to be exposed to more ways of teaching and learning permaculture as I develop my own teaching style. It was truly a gift to have the chance to learn from this teaching team, each of whom brings a completely different set of experiences in permaculture to the table and has a unique way of engaging with the students. 

After that, the Permaculture Action Day on Thursday was probably the highlight of the pre-festival experience. I am always amazed at how much work can get done and how much fun and amazing food can be shared at action days, and this one was no exception. We were at a community house in Walsenburg, one of the poorest places in Colorado, helping them convert this old 1898 school building into a center for regenerative living focused on holistic healing. We helped them install 16 solar panels, build a fence for their chickens, start ramming tires for a new greenhouse, and plant a variety of medicinal plants on the property. The community is a part of the Ubuntu movement, a voluntary contributions collective creating a more regenerative and localized economy in Walsenburg. I think this was the 5th year in a row that we have had a Permaculture Action Day in Walsenburg before the festival and it has been a real treat to get to know some of the community local to Sonic Bloom. In my mind, that’s how these festivals are going to be successful in movement building over the long term. We have to invest our resources in the towns and cities nearby and commit to stewarding the land where the festival is held. Sonic Bloom, Jamie Janover, and the Permaculture Action Network are definitely leaders in that effort. “

I’m curious as to what brings people to you guys for the first time. What first peaks their interest in permaculture? What does their initial interest stem from?

“It’s no secret that younger generations are angsty for change. In my experience, so many young people are hoping to make a positive difference in the world and prioritize that sometimes even higher than their career prospects and unfortunately, even their wellbeing. Yet at the same time, it can be very difficult for many new to the movement to find outlets for this desire. We’re so used to the dominant extractive and coercive culture that it can be hard to see what lies outside. And if we can imagine our ideal alternative, it can be super intimidating to see what steps we can take to get there. The Permaculture Action Network has very intentionally designed a way to connect to young people to opportunities to make this transition happen by partying with them and making the action days and courses parties in themselves. People don’t have to sacrifice their creature comforts to participate in the action days– we’ll have the best local musical talent throwing it down and the best vegan and gluten-free food available for free, and then we’ll have workshops on antiracism or growing your own medicines to help people push their edges forward and think of new ways to engage with the world.”

What were some key highlight speakers from this year’s workshop presenters that you were excited about?

“I had a new friend (Aaron Gabriel) approach me after my Friday morning workshop (The Physics of Relationship) who told me that my ideas were changing the way he was thinking about his own workshop which was going to happen Sunday. I had a wonderful experience at his workshop, Mastering the Matrix, which was all about transforming the agreement fields that we set up in our relationships and prescribe so much of what is and isn’t possible in the world. It’s always the workshops I don’t look for or expect that get me the most. I also really enjoyed my friend Michael Alcazar’s workshop about visioning our ideal future and working within the current framework to make the transition happen. Finally, there was a dope yo-yo workshop at Children’s Village with Hunter Momberger and Steve Knabe and another slinky workshop with Josh Jacobs. 

 

I was sad to have missed the Water Ceremony held by Susana Sandoval and Angelique Rodriguez at the PermaHub. “

How have you seen this element of Sonic Bloom evolve?

“It gets better every year! This year we had a major shift in that Ryan Rising, who is usually our lead coordinator for the Academy, Action Day, and the Hub during the festival left after the action day so we had new leadership running the Hub during the fest. It was really cool to see Erin Anderson, James Claitor, Ryan Sorrell, Michael Alcazar and others step up to make sure everything ran smoothly without Ryan R. We certainly missed him a lot but everything went on great without him. Over time more and more people are becoming involved in the permaculture action movement and the shift toward more local, horizontal leadership is definitely happening. That’s what’s going to make the movement stick. People have to take ownership over it.”

Where do you see the future of this teaching through the Sonic Bloom platform going?

“Most immediately, I am so excited that we (Rainbow Lightning) will be offering a Youth and Family Academy before the festival next year. We’re thinking about following the same themes as the pre-existing academies, maybe having a day for each (visual art, music, and permaculture) where kids and their families can engage with some of the same content as the big kids. It will be a way for parents in the other academies to have amazing childcare close by and also will be a mini summer camp in itself for those parents who want their kids to be exposed to the regenerative living movement from an early age. Part of the long-term success of these festivals has to be including all generations, so it’s really exciting to have Jamie and Bloom behind us 100% on offering an academy for kids.”

Art Director

Annie Phillips

How long have you been apart of the art scene?

“I began creating events and art installations in 2008 in Arkansas. I was in a live electronic band and also made visual installations through different parties that were called “The Art Party.” When I graduated from college, I moved out to Colorado right before Sonic Bloom. My first year here, I taught a workshop on my college thesis. This is my ninth Sonic Bloom. After my first year, I did stage visuals, projecting on the screens, LEDs, or on the dancers. In 2013, I was asked to bring art to Arise on a small scale, and it just really grew from there. I have been an Art Director since 2013, and I am going on my seventh year doing large-scale art production.”

How has your career progressed over the years?

“I previously worked for a computer company that did a lot of stage design work, visuals, and content development, for electronic groups. It kind of just turned into starting to create more interactive spaces to do interactive projection mapping at festivals. When I started at Arise, it took it to a whole other level on how to curate a gallery and more functional art and shape structures, and beautifying land art. It was a big jump. Arise definitely helped me get my foot in the door for biggest projects. In 2015, Sonic Bloom asked if I wanted to come be the Art Director there too, and I’ve been here since.”

Can you tell me a little about the application process to be in the gallery?

“Yes, we begin the process in January. Every year there are more and more applicants. This year, we got like 327 applicants just for the gallery, which is overwhelming, but by creating these spaces over the years, it just gets more and more traction and people wanting to be involved. It’s kind of bittersweet, I love providing that space, but it’s hard to manage expectations and tell people no. I always try to get as many, if not more, women than men, and an equal representation of color. I think this is something that I will steer more towards in the future, definitely women of color, so I can use this platform to empower the people that are most marginalized.”

And for art installations?

“We got about 50-100 applications this year for art installations. I really try to curate based on the event. Like Sonic Bloom has always had a really electric feel, but also very transformative and psychedelic. I always try to bring in people who fit into that. Same with the gallery.”

What community elements go into this Art Gallery?

”I always try to keep an open door and encourage people to invest in themselves. If they really do want to take the time to be a full-time artist, with anything, you have to really take it seriously and invest in yourself. There’s a lot of incredible ways you can do that in terms of trade. I try to bring artists together. So say an artist would exchange something for one teaching their skills. In exchange for like stretching a canvas, or print packing. That’s definitely one cool thing we are doing in this community, is supporting each other in ways that people otherwise wouldn’t really be able to afford.”

Who are you most excited about who’s featured in the 2019 Sonic Bloom Art Gallery?

“Hmm. Thats a good question. I was really excited about Allison Grayson, she uses a dental tool to carve on animal skulls. That’s one of the favorite things about getting all the applications. I find all of these incredible artists that I didn’t know before. Her work really stood out to me. I’m from the South, and I think finding ways of still finding that animal background, and taxidermy, reminds me of home. But it was all shown in a really unique way. There’s two international artists I am excited about. For international people to come in and see how we are doing things in the country is a whole another level. So Gloria Glo from Belize and Zoe Rayne from Australia. There’s a lot of mixed media though as well. Adrianne Tamar Arachne does digital illustrations, it looks really magical. Just trying to bring out a bunch of local people too, like bringing back Apex Collective again this year. We also have a few artists here that are art professors as well. I always think that’s cool too. Having people involved who have an educational background or are working in education. I think they are out there having a lot of awesome conversations with people.”

Art Installations?

“We’ve really been trying to make everything interactive. Seeing the artists grow, a lot have been here for a few years, just seeing them get a lot more developed in their ideas. Just figuring out how to involve the audience in the pieces.”

A Word from the Art Gallery Volunteer Coordinator & Sales Lead, Nick Sumbles:

“I think one of the most important aspects of the gallery is diversity. Annie is truly bringing in very important aspects of different communities and cultures into the gallery. Minorities, people of color, everyone that doesn’t get as many privileges as the average white male artist. We need to give other people a shot too. The gallery is a great opportunity to introduce people to these various ideas. We adapt the design, visions, and expressions of other cultures into our own – we’ve been doing that for years – but now we get to see it straight from the source. So the gallery itself is all these different experiences that different people are having from all walks of life, translated into their own portal, perspectives and realities. I’ve always found that quite profound. Everything in the gallery is very deep and Annie does a great job at sharing those perspectives. Every piece in the gallery tells a story.”

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