There’s nothing else in Nelson quite like it.
Where else, in one evening, could you see a Michael Jackson tribute band, a fashion show featuring local designers, live-painting, beatboxing and an impassioned speech on body issues delivered by a nearly naked poet?
That’s what Art Party 10 is all about, and hundreds packed into the Royal on Baker Thursday evening for the four-hour extravaganza.
The first act to take the stage was local rapper Dazza, who was accompanied by beatboxer Douglas. Then, for a change of pace, local artist Nuzzla led the audience in a colouring exercise with pencil crayons, aiming to challenge participants’ perceptions of themselves and others.
That was followed by a performance by local band Atlas, which includes musicians Aline Bobbin, Trevor Unruh, Graham Stark and Anna Backus. During one particularly memorable sequence Bobbin pitted her viola against Unruh’s electric guitar to epic effect.
The fashion show portion of the evening featured a number of local women, included Art Party organizers Zaynab Mohammed and Leesa Dean. Mohammed then read some poetry which culminated in her disrobing before the audience, wearing only underwear and seashell pasties, to perform a piece on body image.
The evening concluded with a poetry reading from Cheryl Thornton and then a rambunctious concert from the Heights, who busted out Michael Jackson classics such as “Beat It” and “Billie Jean”.
Art Party is an all-inclusive event that’s open to everyone in the community.
The Nelson art council’s new executive director Sydney Black was in attendance, as was Blue Night organizer Brian Kalbfleisch and city councillor Michael Dailly. The past nine Art Party events have fluctuated in attendance as venues have changed repeatedly, but on Thursday the bar was crowded right until midnight.
And according to organizers, the goal is celebration.
“Art Party is a time to celebrate art, life, community, love, laughter and sight. A night filled with inspiration from many colors of the rainbow,” the group’s Facebook page reads. “We get to witness the magic, as it unfolds, together.