[Published on InsouciantWriting.com August 25, 2014]
The August air’s intensity was no match for the catalytic inauguration of Jam Art Jubilee spearheaded by art director John Sippel, marketing guru Ben Kramp and web designer Harry Masters of the Russell Industrial Center and Gallery 17. One attendee claimed with nostalgic gratitude she hadn’t hung out at the enormous grounds for shindigs since the eighties because of a lull in community engagement events celebrating creations of innovators near and far.
Before entering the vendors’ hangar, a glass blower crafted talons on toes of a curvaceously fierce dragon all behind a scrap metal creature. Aubry and Elena Smyth of Armageddon Beachparty Co. took a different approach of demanding attention with a jutting tent hosting a clever assortment of handmade products inspired by and made with found objects. MBME Apparel (whose acronym means Made By Mexican Entrepreneurs) utilized more of a color coordinated minimalist route, which amplified founder Vic Reyes’ vividly succinct graphics printed with thermal vinyl.
Further into the merchants’ den were sculptures of the same magnitude as the rabbit near the entrance: one was a sarcophagus while the other was a full representation of life’s obstacles as cocoons and their tendency toward being immovable forces of daily life. The latter was part of a collection by an Ann Arbor artist identified as Matt whose sculpting and photographic energies seemed stylishly harnessed. In the same vicinity, illustrations by Killmonkies and Michael and Daniel Chabot of New Worlds struck nerves of excitement with finely tuned details and unique deliveries to their audiences. The RPG (Random Picture Generator) took the reigns of attention from passersby when Michael Chabot explained the machine’s purpose (in which he situated himself) was to give everyone an opportunity to purchase art and be influenced only by the size of his/her contribution.
In the midst of assembling both veteran, early stage and experimental producers, Sippel and Kramp are set for continual support and love from the array of talent across southeast Michigan. The dynamic duo already has its eyes on attracting participation from galleries and an increased range in artists and activities. This leaves room for exponential growth to keep the sizzling momentum going for the annual Jam Arts Jubilee.