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Following up on our popular “What is ArtParty?” blog post, we asked local artist Jessica Lynn Wiebe to write a guest post about ArtParty from her perspective.

I am a local Halifax artist so most of my days are spent either in the studio or running errands, so I thrive on a night where I can get dressed up and enjoy an evening out. My partner and I attended the first ArtParty back in 2015 and we have not looked back. It’s always a different experience, you never know what you’re going to get into, and we always have a good time. There’s always lots to do and never enough time to do it all!

George and I getting creative at ArtParty. The piece shown is Mario Garcia Torres’s What happens in Halifax Stays in Halifax, part of The Last Art College exhibition.

When we arrive, we like to grab a drink (which are contained in an Art Gallery of Nova Scotia sippy cup), and wander around to get a nice overview of what’s happening. Highlights of Friday included: Ghettosocks opening the night with some of his music from 2006, introducing my friends to my favourite works in the Permanent Collection of the gallery, and admiring the Graffiti-inspired lanterns being made in the art room. Galleries on the north end of the building were flowing with guests engaging with the art, so we followed suit.

Ghettosocks performs at ArtParty. Photo: Kelly Clark

Viewing art and having conversations.

The diverse crowd at Art Party make it a great opportunity to meet artists, curators, art lovers, history buffs, fashionistas, and many more interesting and charming people of all ages. The space provides a great intersection for dialogue, education, and fun. Our evenings there are always filled with introductions, networking, and catching up with friends while surrounded by remarkable works of art. ArtParty offers both seasoned gallery vets and newcomers a fresh and interactive lens to view the exhibitions within the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. They provide access to the galleries in a lighthearted way that is accessible.Art-making in the studios. 

Art making in the studios with artist Tara Grude. Photo: Kelly Clark

Our favourite part is walking into the studios to discover the available art project and spending time constructing our own piece with the provided supplies. Our home has a large growing collection of these art pieces that feature 3D dinosaur landscapes that attach via pin to your shirt, a jungle scene headpiece, a necklace reminiscent of Flava Flav’s clock (but with a vinyl record), a large cape made of cut outs from vinyl record sleeves held together with tiny metal rings, and a transparent ponytail scrunchie made with glue from a hot glue gun. On Friday we added Graffiti Lanterns to our assemblage of ArtParty souvenirs. We love going in to make something together and our only rule is to make it wearable.

At ArtParty, it’s not just about the art, the downstairs gallery was transformed into a club like space with a large dancefloor and stage for Ghettosocks and DJ T-Woo. The lighting was perfect and the long velvety black and silver fabric draped down the back wall created an intimate and elegant atmosphere . I loved the video footage that played on four old televisions propped up against the stage (especially the footage of the Berenstain Bears sped up and juxtaposed with young kids breakdancing). In my opinion, the perfect end to a night at ArtParty is getting crazy on the dance floor with new and old friends, so that’s exactly what we did!

Dance party with DJ T-Woo.

Cheers Jessica. Thanks so much for sharing your ArtParty experience with us. We hope to see you (and everyone!) at our next ArtParty on March 24.

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