A hodgepodge of stylish hipsters rocking pastel colored hair, checkered pants, mustaches, enormous jean jackets, fur coats, bright beanies above the ears and fanny packs strapped across the front, flowed in and out of Terrain 12.
On Friday, Terrain 12 took place from 5 p.m. to midnight in the Jensen Byrd Building, 131 E. Main Ave. Every year, Terrain happens on the first Friday in October. This annual, one-night-only event celebrates and showcases local artists. This year, 290 artists and 453 artworks were featured.
Not just one type of art or person was there and strong community support was apparent.
There were months of preparation leading up to the event from both artists and the team who put on Terrain 12.
“We put out a call for artists several months before the show, people submit their work, we have a deadline for it, then we put a jury together to go through, look at every single piece and review everything in a room together,” said Derrick “D.O.” Oliver, manager of art sales for Terrain and a former member of the deciding jury.
“The jury is made up of different people in the art community,” Oliver said. “It looks different every year. There’s people who may be professors, people who are artists themselves, stakeholders in the art community or just any people that we think might be willing to go through that process because it’s very time consuming.”
There isn’t a limit for the number of pieces which are chosen for the show.
“We accept what we think would be a great fit for the show and sometimes that ends up with us having a ton of pieces and having to get really creative with how we can fit them all in this space, but we always make it happen somehow,” Oliver said.
Terrain 12 had art in a multitude of mediums. Many unique branches of art were showcased from folky and head-banging rock bands, to beautifully thought-provoking paintings and photographs.
There were interactive pieces sprinkled throughout as well. A projection of laundry machines with clothes tumbling around in them with two pink chairs in front of it and an exposed brick room with nothing but projections of water on the walls, shared the same concept of projection.
One of the eye-catching exhibits featured a woman kneeling on the ground in the middle of one of the rooms. She wore a white gown with the dress train surrounding her and she slowly peeled off tissue paper which was glued to her body, pinning it on a cork board, making the shape of a moth.
Many pieces critiqued society. A performance piece which featured an opera singing woman dressed elaborately in a costume composed of trash found in the ocean and blue and white face paint designed by Cricket Green, was about marine conservation and our addiction to plastic.
“Marine conservation and just an appreciation for our oceans, ecology is a huge part of it so I really wanted to draw attention to conspicuous consumption, how as a culture, we are addicted to plastics, and how beautiful and wonderful our marine life is,” said Anne Czoski, the creative director of the piece.
She was particularly inspired by blue and humpback whales during her creative process.
“The blue whale is currently an endangered species and so I wanted to bring attention to that through a performance piece through song and through interactive art,” Czoski said.
She brought in Madeline McNeill to sing because of her opera background.
“She sang an augmentation of one of my favorite arias called Dido’s Lament so we just changed the lyrics a little bit and that was the culmination of the piece,” Czoski said.
Artists find out about Terrain in different ways. Some have known about it for years, and others happen to randomly stumble upon it.
Artist Natalie Benner came last year for the first time because some of her friends from college were going and she fell in love. One of her pieces made it into Terrain this year.
“It’s loosely a self-portrait embroidery backed on a piece of watercolor paper in a frame,” Benner said.
The piece is called “holding back” and represents different emotions from when she was going through a hard time personally and in school.
“It’s about kind of tending to be a quieter person and all of those things that you kind of wish that you would say in the moment or just all of those thoughts and feelings that you have that you tend to keep back and sensor,” Benner said.
This year’s show has Benner excited to push herself further for next year.
“I feel like seeing it next to everybody else’s work and just knowing that I can get into something like Terrain, it is challenging me to want to do better,” Benner said. “I look at that and I’m like I could do better already even though I made it less than a year ago.”
Terrain will return again on the first Friday of October 2020.