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Montgomery County Artists Showcase Talent at Fun A Day Event

The Lansdale Fun A Day will make its second-annual appearance, celebrating accessibility to the arts and the local artists that make them.

The Fun A Day challenges artists to create art every single day throughout the month of January.

The challenge was started over a decade ago in Philadelphia by a group of artists who became known as the Artclash Collective. According to artclash.com, the Fun A Day challenge comes to a head in an annual inclusive and participatory public exhibition sometime in February. The event highlights the results from the challenge. 

The exhibition is meant to be fun and accessible to both appreciators of art and the artists themselves.

While the Philadelphia-based Fun A Day event is slated for the weekend of Feb. 15, residents and artists in the Montgomery County suburbs will have their chance to see local art early at the Lansdale-based Fun A Day event this Friday.

“There are many talented people around here,” Amy Rims, Lansdale Fun A Day organizer, said. “I figured I could open it up to the rest of the area.”

The Lansdale Fun A Day event will take place Feb. 8, starting at 7 p.m. at the Third and Walnut Bar in Lansdale.

Rims, a multi-medium artist and former North Wales resident, originally participated with the Philadelphia-based Fun A Day event. Recognizing the potential gain for local artists, she said she wanted the Fun A Day event to come to the Philadelphia suburbs.

“Art does not happen in a vacuum,” Rims said. “You have to experience everything, and art will happen.”

Prior to organizing the Fun A Day in Lansdale, she recalls setting up her paintings-in-progress on street corners and sidewalks, where interaction with people came naturally. Rims describes the Lansdale Fun A Day as benefitting local artists in the same fashion.

“It helps get their motivation and confidence up to find more venues,” Rims said.

She said that artists will be eager to engage the public for the opportunity to speak about their participation in the challenge, and especially about the art itself.

 

Enjoying Yourself at the Fun A Day

Rims emphasizes that the Fun A Day event should be fun for both guest and artist, so literature will be available for guests to get the most out of the event. Such literature is focused on members of the public that may not regularly attend gallery shows, may not be particularly familiar with the art world, or those who would just like to break the ice with an artist.

“It’s your chance to talk with the artists,” Rims said.

Examples she gives on what to ask artists include:

On How to Engage the artist

  • If a piece of artwork appeals to you in any way, ask questions such as: What inspired this?
  • How long did it take you? What was it like working on artwork everyday for a month straight?
  • What kind of job do you work to support your artwork? Where do you get your supplies?
  • Buy something from an artist, it encourages them to make more and do more things like this.

On How to Engage Yourself with the Artwork

  • What is the subject of this painting?
  • What shapes are created in this piece?
  • Does it elicit any emotional response in me? Does anything about seem familiar? 
  • How do the color choices of the artist influence the overall feel of the piece?
  • Do I like this? (Ask someone next to you, even if you don't know them, ‘Do you like this?’)
  • Do I know someone who this reminds me of? 
  • How was this created?
  • How long would it take to create something like this?
  • What would I change or add to this piece?
  • How much money does an artist make an hour?
  • If I could create anything what would I create?
  • Why would someone make something like this?

 

What’s Good for the Public is Good for the Artist

She also emphasizes that the event is meant to help artists network and further the potential for increasing local arts.

As a result from last year’s Lansdale Fun A Day, Rims, a former member of the 311 W. Main Street Task Force in Lansdale, said that artists have banded together to create several art projects in the Lansdale community.

Rims said that artists and the public attending should seek her out to talk about any ideas for future shows.

“It’s a great pale to meet other artists,” Rims said. "It helps keep art going. It’s art in motion.”

 

The Lansdale Fun A Day

There will be at least 20 artists, with several returning artists from last year, attending the Feb. 8 Lansdale Fun A Day event. However, registration is not required for participating artists, who may show up with their work during the show set up on the day of the event (from 2 – 5 p.m.).

In addition, Rims said that artists will be encouraged to sell their work, however, Lansdale Fun A Day organizers will not take commission on the event. Items, including raffle tickets and a silent auction, will also be for sale to help fund for future shows.

As the challenge is not limited to any particular form of art or art medium, the event will include 2D and 3D arts, as well as live performances, making for an ecletic and engaging evening.

“It is laid back. Everyone is in a great mood,” Brian Medlin, a musician, formerly of Hatfield, said of last year’s event. “People seem to be excited to learn there is so much talent right in their neighborhood.”

Medlin, speaking in an e-mail, graduated in the same class at North Penn High School as Rims. As a musical artist, Medlin focused on challenging himself to interpret more cover songs every day in January. As a solo artist, Medlin has performed in the area for the last three years, and will be performing songs from his new album “Brian Medlin & The Elk Band” (www.brianmedlinmusic.com) at the Lansdale Fun A Day, among other musical acts.

He said he sees the Lansdale Fun A Day as a way to bring people together for a unique cause in a unique setting.

“There are so many talented people in the area, doing a variety of unique things,” Medlin said. “I think it inspires the artists, as well as the community.”

 

Heading to the Lansdale Fun A Day?

Where: Ballroom area (second floor) of Third and Walnut Bar, 43 W. Third St. in Lansdale.

When: - For artists set up: 2 – 5 p.m.

            - Show opens to the public at 7 p.m.

Further Info: No registration required for artists. Spaces available are tables and racks. If using a table, bring own tablecloth.

For more information, visit www.lansdalefunaday.blogspot.com, www.Amyrims.wordpress.com or visit the Lansdale Fun A Day Facebook Page

For a photo gallery from last year's event, click here.

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