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Unconventional artists convene at Bizarto event

January 6, 2019
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Chris Lucia checks out artwork during Bizarto, a one-night-only popup art show, on Saturday above the Honey Bones restaurant in Huntington.

HUNTINGTON — Area artists shared their unconventional, eccentric or downright weird creations with the public Saturday evening in the space above the Honey Bones restaurant at Bizarto, a popup that showcased lowbrow and outsider art in Huntington.

Organizer Zac White, who also organizes Culture Storm, said it’s all about bringing together the locals to support niche art that is not necessarily celebrated or is perhaps slightly frowned upon. Lowbrow and outsider art is basically the stuff that doesn’t have a place in the Museum of Modern Art.

“I don’t feel like it’s celebrated, and I don’t feel like people are aware that it’s something that can and should be celebrated,” White said.

Charlie Haggard is a local artist whose illustrations depict cartoonish characters

who are, as he put it, kind of lost or confused, living life the hard way or overcome with melancholy and hard times. He said part of the appeal of lowbrow and outsider art is its unique quality.

“People are used to the top tier, finest animation and finest art you can find, when really there’s a lot of character and personality in someone just trying to draw their best or someone just trying to accomplish something with very little budget,” Haggard said. “It’s a do-it-yourself kind of attitude, it’s usually low budget and it’s usually super weird. And people who are a part of this show relish in that. When you go to a show like this, you don’t know what to expect other than you’re going to get something different.”

White said popups like Bizarto can give nonprofessional artists an access point to share their art with both the public and other artists.

“There are a lot of people around town who have outsider art and that make art that aren’t necessarily doing it at a professional level,” White said. “They’re doing it as something they enjoy doing, whether it be a hobby or explore a profession to get into it. It’s such a small community it needs to be celebrated.”

Haggard, who is self-taught and has been drawing since childhood, said local popups and art shows allow local artists to support each other while bypassing the traditional infrastructure of the high art community.

“You come from nothing and you’re automatically more interesting because of that, and that’s where Ilike to stay, “Haggard said.

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