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Huntington artist Chris Lusher presenting music-filled pop-up art show party Saturday night

March 15, 2019
New Christopher Lusher art exhibit 'ephemera, etecetera' going up Saturday night at Paint and Sip.

HUNTINGTON - Contemporary artist and art photographer Chris Lusher has been living off and on in downtown Huntington since age 17 capturing the Jewel City in all angles and light.Lusher, who works in paintings, sculpture, and multimedia, culls some of his best recent photos for a new pop-up art exhibit, “ephemera, etcetera,” that will be a fittingly a one-night art party at Paint And Sip, 948 Fourth Ave., Huntington starting at 6 p.m. Saturday, March 16.The exhibit will feature not only a solo show by Lusher, but also a local artisan fair and live music by Jordan Andrew Jefferson, MarcFromMars, Niki Miro, Craig Smoot, Sin Revel, Ricky and Maggie Fox. A dance party with will start 10:30 p.m.-ish with Mick Wiseman and DJ Charlie Brown Superstar.This is the first solo exhibit in a couple of years for Lusher, whose last show was also a photo exhibit, “8x10″at River Tower, where he held some of his many one-night art parties called Blank Gallery.“I was initially going to do a show with a friend of mine who is a painter but that didn’t happen due to some scheduling problems,” Lusher said. “That show will still happen but the fire had gotten stoked so to speak so I decided to do a smaller solo gig. To get my feet wet again as its been awhile since my last show. This show is thematic in that its basically a series of abstract diptychs and triptychs of photographs.“Lusher, who spent a few years in Louisiana and Charleston, South Carolina, has been living off and on in downtown Huntington for 28 years, was one of the first artists in modern Huntington times to create the pop-up art gallery on a regular basis.One of the co-art directors for the Huntington Music and Arts Festival, which is now in its 10th year, Lusher organized more than 30 exhibits under the moniker Blank Gallery, a series of one-night contemporary art exhibits that featured a myriad of artists from here, as well as internationally known artists such as Max Snow. Those shows pinballed back and forth between spaces at River Tower and Daniel’s Den (Mark Smith’s salon and barber shop on 8th Street), as well as putting art shows in transitioning buildings. His 2015 multi-media show, “Man Down,” filled with paintings, sculptures, and multimedia works, was one of the first and art exhibits here to address the chaos of living downtown during the opioid crisis. It brought a packed crowd to the old T.K. Dodril’s Jewelers building on 9th Street that became the new home of Summit Beer Station.Lusher, who also was the director of the now-defunct Appalachian Film Festival, received international exposure in multiple fashion and lifestyle magazines for his photography from a cross-country trip with famed NYC artist and fashion designer Max Snow. In 2012 he and Snow did a two-man exhibit here about a week following Snow getting a full page spread story in the New York Times. Lusher had also built up a following of more than 50,000 followers on his HillbillyMagazine on Tumblr.Although always making art and taking pics, Lusher said he took some time off from organizing so many shows just to be a regular person for a while.“I wanted to take some time to just drop out and be a ‘regular’ person - Go to work, come home, eat, pet the cat etc. Rinse. repeat,” Lusher said. “The burnout eta on ‘regular’ comes a lot faster. I just feel like I’m in a place now where my focus is a lot sharper on what I want to do and put out for public consumption.“Lusher said he is stoked to be back and to get to do this surrounded by friends such as multi-instrumentalist Jordan Andrew Jefferson, who will be unveiling a new single from his new album. Jefferson was getting airplay around the country for such songs as “White Light,” off of his 2015 album “The Only Way Out is In,” when a health issue took him off the road and sidelined his musical career. “There’s gonna be a first listen party for my buddy Jordan Andrew Jefferson’s next record as well. DJ Charlie Brown Superstar running the wheels for an after party. Should be quite the gig. Jordan’s a really good, talented dude. Plus, it always so much more fun doing things like this with friends. Mix it like a chemist and see what might blow up.“Read about this and other art exhibits in Saturday’s Herald-Dispatch