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ArtPocalypse begins with large audience

September 12, 2018

To kick off the third year of ArtPocalypse, the first Second Tuesday Salon of the year experienced its biggest turnout.

Odessa Arts executive director Randy Ham stated there were more than 80 people that attended the kickoff event on Tuesday at The Rose Building.

That turnout is a large jump from the 30 people the Second Tuesday Salon averages throughout the year and Ham credits the increase to the ArtPocalypse receiving a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts.

“This is the first year that we received NEA funding for our citywide reading program,” Ham said. “We were one of 79 cities in the entire country to get an NEA grant. I wear that as a badge of pride not only for our organization, but for our city.

“My job is to go out there every day and show that there are things to do here. We live in a community that has beauty and art in it, even if you didn’t know that before.”

ArtPocalypse takes place for 12 weeks and includes a total of 29 events.

The next event will be the first community book discussion about the novel handed out at the kickoff event — “Station Eleven” by Emily St. John Mandel — at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Centennial Library in Midland. The first two events of ArtPocalypse took place on Tuesday.

The Second Tuesday Salon had a variety of people ranging from high school students to senior citizens. There were also college students from UTPB’s Pots-n-Prints that were doing t-shirt and canvas printing.

Mario Kiran, who is an associate professor of art at UTPB and heads the printing aspect of Pots-n-Prints, said he is appreciative to the Odessa Arts.

“They put together events like ArtPocalypse,” Kiran said of the Odessa Arts. “It’s something like you would see in a big city, but you don’t see it here, so it’s encouraging the arts. It’s very good.”

In addition to the printing, the event included a performance from Amy Hujzak, the principal cellist for the Midland-Odessa Symphony and Chorale.

Odessa High School junior Evan Haley said it’s a treat to watch Hujzak, since he plays violin in the orchestra.

“It’s a great thing for the community, especially for the people that are less open to that,” Haley said. “I’m in orchestra, so I’m exposed to the world of music and I’ve seen (Hujzak) perform before and it’s always good to see her perform, but seeing the different side of arts like visual arts — the print making the and shirt making — it’s very cool to see that all happen. The process behind some of the stuff that we take for granted.”

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