Local Atlanta collective Arthouse just had its seasonal climax: Arthouse4. Founders Uncle Bendr, Chriz Vaughn, Jlenz, Kix Hendrix, Mack Walker, and Mael pulled out all the stops, booking performances by several musicians and curating a showcase featuring an array of well-known creatives.
Created by youth for youth, Arthouse binds young people to a bigger change in art culture. The refreshing thing about Artouse is that nothing feels fake, of pretense or expectation—the art simmers, intrigues. At Arthouse we get weird, and we like it that way.
This time around, the event was held in an old church in downtown ATL, an interesting choice considering the juxtaposition of tradition and youthful defiance. Kids in chains and ripped denim posed for photos under stained glass windows, black surgical masks covering the lower halves of their faces. Racks of sparkling, painted, safety-pinned clothing lined the space where the pews would have been, sparking, painted and safety-pinned; digital and oil art hung from the walls while the creators lurked beneath, eager to sell their work. Music rolled throughout the church, shaking its foundations and reaching to the vaulted ceilings. Boys in dark skinny jeans cried into the microphones on stage, and neon lights bled across their skin as the crowd thrashed to the beat. The church was brimming with young people, all eager and bubbling.
For all its breathless excitement, I think the reason so many kids flock to Arthouse lies beyond the music and exhibitions. It’s the culture it inspires, the community it fosters, and the empowerment of knowing you’re part of something bigger than yourself. It’s an experience.
By Erin Davis