With so many things happening at ArtSlam, I’m commonly asked “What should I not miss?” To be honest, you’ll want to experience as much as possible—all of it, in fact. But if you’re a list kind of person (like me), I’m going to make your day.
As for the other people reading, scratching their heads, and thinking “ArtSlam, what is that? And didn’t they know that there should be a space between art and slam?” Well, you’re in luck, too.
ArtSlam is an annual event coordinated by Realize Bradenton that engages the public with the arts: music, drama, dance, painting, sculpture, and more. It takes place outside of the studio, theater, classroom, and gallery, providing patrons with new perspectives, and a fun-filled day downtown. Oh, did I mention that it’s free?
This year’s theme is simple: showcase students and their work, which is why we’ve connected with Manatee County Public Schools and other charter schools.
My ArtSlam Top-10 list
10. Take A Detour
Let out your inner Magellan and wander off of Old Main Street to the Bradenton Riverwalk. Why am I telling you to leave the event? Well, I’m not, but I’m encouraging you to take a stroll down this award-winning 1.5-mile stretch of paradise to cap-off your downtown visit.
9. Annual Favorites
Just like your favorite holiday that comes only once a year, I look forward to welcoming back Bayshore High School, Southeast High School, Lakewood Ranch High School, and Manatee Education Association. Visit their booths to create a mural with fellow community members, have your face painted, purchase inspiring student art, and be cool and personalize your own fan.
8. Be a Movie Star
Stop by Inspiration Academy’s slow-motion photo booth for a chance to appear in their ArtSlam video montage! Learn about videography, ask questions of the Student Film Academy, and get ready to walk the red carpet.
7. Art-Creating Contraption
We all know that people can paint, but what about machines? Manatee School of the Arts has created such a contraption—but what will it do? You’ll have to stop by to see what kind of masterpieces this machine can make.
6. A Grocery Market
ArtSlam takes place alongside the weekly Bradenton Farmers’ Market. Bring your reusable grocery bag and wander between the artist teams to find your new produce grocer. You’ll be able to visit with farmers and vendors, and purchase locally-grown, certified organic produce.
5. A House is a Home
You have a roof over your head, so why not make one for your feathered friends? Visit with Keller Williams Realty of Manatee and give your tree-dwelling neighbors a home by painting your very own take-home birdhouse.
4. Learn From the Pros
Here’s your chance to learn from pros. Watch artist Brandon Scott paint a special portrait while you’re participating in his Communi-Tree project, and check out Matt McAllister getting his hands dirty while creating a chalk masterpiece on the sidewalk.
3. Dance Your Cares Away
Even if you have two left feet (like me), you’ll still get up and move. Follow the music to experience Sarasota Contemporary Dance’s mini-classes and drum segments. They’ll also have the crowd pleasing ‘Paint Me’ art-interactive activity.
2. Graffiti Art
Also known as ‘aerosol artists’, these talented spray-paint wielding individuals are experts of their craft. Witness Keeton’s CAN JAM artists paint a giant cube of canvas in the middle of the street. Far from vandalism, the masterpieces that appear from their spray-cans is awe inspiring.
1. See It All
I know what you’re thinking: “What?! Where’s the number one thing to see? I'm that list person you mentioned earlier!” Since you’re already going to be downtown, you I encourage you to check out what each of the twenty-two teams are up to (I even have a handy map of the artist teams for you). Honestly, you’re going to leave amazed and inspired, and eager for ArtSlam 2017!
In addition to impersonating Jacques Cousteau on the weekends, Jeremy Piper is the communication manager for Realize Bradenton.