Dawn Devlin (left) and Jodi Zinselmeyer strike a pose at the Bizarre Bazaar Art Party at the Old Fire Hall on Nov. 12. Devlin and Zinselmeyer were two of many party attendees who came in costume for the event.

Celebrating art and partying it up in Nakusp

The second Art Party in Nakusp was a smashing success at the Old Fire Hall.

Artists and residents from around Nakusp came together for the biannual Art Party on Nov. 12 at the Old Fire Hall.

Unlike the party held in April, this one was themed Bizarre Bazaar, and attendees were encouraged to come in costume, the more outlandish the better. Those who didn’t come in costume were free to borrow one for the night, and get their faces decorated as well, free of charge.

“To see everyone come and be super fancy, or silly, or whatever, was amazing because it adds to the fun,” said Kate Tupper, one of the organizers. “To see people I’ve known my whole life and not recognize them because they’re in costume is hilarious. It makes you feel like you’re somewhere else.”

Music from the party could be heard from at least a block away and the main room of the fire hall was packed as the Winlaw drumming group In The Sticks performed.

The party this season featured a mix of traditional and less conventional styles of art, from paintings and drawings done on shirts and motorcycle helmets, to animal statues made of unknown materials. One display by photographer Julia Berger featured a slide show of wildlife including sounds that would normally be found in the natural setting of the photos, like birds chirping, or the wind blowing.

After the party, organizers had the chance to reflect on the event, and how it compared to the first Art Party.

“I think we were a little more organized because we knew there would be more people,” said Tupper. “I think we attracted more artwork. I had a fellow from Sculpture Walk bring some work.”

Sculpturewalk is an annual event that takes place in Castlegar over the summer.

Organizers were pleased with the number of people who showed up for the party around 392 not only from Nakusp, but also areas like Revelstoke, Castlegar, even Nelson.

Dyllan Lachelt was one of the Nelson crew at the event.

“I heard about it from every Nakuspian I’ve spoken to in the last two months,” she said. “Everybody has been amped about it, and it sounded like a good time.”

While those who came to the party had fun, the artists showing work had a great time too.

Crystal Unger came to the party to photograph the burlesque show, and a friend convinced her to add her photos to the styles of art on display.

“I needed to advertise myself a little more, because I’m a little more secluded, and don’t really advertise with printed photos, and I wanted to show off my talents,” she said.

Though this was her first time Unger has displayed her work she had a fabulous time.

“It’s really fun,” she said. “I like the atmosphere, it makes you want to go home and art.”

The hope is to have an Art Party twice a year, one in the spring, and one in the fall when there isn’t really anything going on in Nakusp, and use the event as a way to keep spirits up and bring in tourists and revenue to the area.

“This is the time of year in Nakusp that nothing is going on and people aren’t spending money here,” said Tupper. “We just attracted all these people here, and they rented hotel rooms, and they spent money in the restaurants, and they had a really good time.”


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