After hearing stories of renegade box truck art exhibits in other cities, some with stripper poles inside of U-Hauls, the staff at ArtWorks decided to try making the concept their own. "Midpoint seemed like the perfect place to try it for the first time," says Tamara Harkavy, executive director of ArtWorks. "There are a lot of people in the city for the festival, and it's a good way to connect the festival to the streets."
Harkavy talked with MidPoint host John Fox of CityBeat and they decided to launch box truck exhibits at this year's MidPoint Music Festival, christening it MidPoint Midway. The Midway, situated on 12th Street between Vine and Walnut Streets, aims for an immersive street festival feel, complete with beer and food vendors, stages and the box truck exhibits.
ArtWorks put out a call to local creatives to propose interactive installations that could fit in the back of box trucks. Sarah Corlett took charge of the submission gathering and artist wrangling. Corlett, also the SpringBoard coordinator at ArtWorks, sees her new challenge as a natural fit. "SpringBoard already has a entrepreneurial and artistic spirit, which is exactly what we needed," says Harkavay.
Within days, Corlett created guidelines and contacted several artists around the city. "The only guidelines we really had were no alcohol and no open flames," Corlett says. "It has to be an art installation, but also be experiential, and fit inside the truck, of course."
Corlett reached out to parProjects, a two-man artist group. Jonathan Sears and Chris Hoeting have created galleries in shipping containers and Uhaul trucks, so they welcomed the opportunity.
"We are excited about the chance to do something in a mobile space again," says Sears. "We are creating a two-hole mini-golf course in our truck." Sears and Hoeting came upon the idea as a play on words relating to their business name. Preliminary renderings show water hazards, ramps and pipes. One hole features a ramp that exits and re-enters the truck.
"If we create an experience that people will have a conversation about, I definitely think that is worthwhile," says Sears. parProject's goal to incite conversation reflects the central point behind the MidPoint Midway. "There are going to be some great surprises at Midway," says Harkavay. "We really want to give people an experience they will remember."
Volunteer. Contact Sarah Corlett about volunteering at MidPoint Midway.
Attend. On Oct. 22, parProjects is hosting the Factory Square Fine Arts Festival.
Donate. ArtWorks is always accepting donations to support its programs and services.
By Evan Wallis