Sun. Jan 16th, 2022

Interested in contemporary art, film, music, poetry or any other form of self-expression? Tired of the typical weekend hangouts, parties and bar crowds? Feeling the need for a cultural awakening? If the answer is “yes” to any of these questions, then the Renegade Art Project: Installment Number Four is the place to be on Saturday, Nov. 20. The project was put together by a West Chester-based underground art movementcalled the Renegade Art Coalition. With the desire to promote artistic creativity in its purest form, the Coalition has hosted a series of projects, none quite like the one that came before it. Founders Stewart Dean Ebersole and Andrew Dutilh Gray sat down with The Quad last week to give some insight on the Coalition and their latest Project. They explained that they started with the idea of inding forms of artistic expression that galleries wouldn’t think twice about. “Gallery-type of art didn’t impress me and artists that were aiming for that market weren’t impressing me either. I like the idea that if you’re not shooting for something like that, you’re much more free to express yourself. So when we started to do the project, it was always about freedom of expression. We’re looking for people who are doing what they want to do” said Ebersole. Likewise, Gray said the Renegade Art Coalition “gives the community a chance to see something new and something different. It’s a slice of the underground that isn’t really paid attention to and it needs to be celebrated.”

It starts with finding artists who are limitless in their ideas of expression. “If you can drop your guard for one second and pretend that art is just anything that comes from a person’s brain is creativity – then graffiti is art, someone who crochets is art and someone who makes furniture is art, bartending is art, music is art, short films are art,” Ebersole said. The Coalition seeks out individuals who are not afraid to infuse their own personality into their creations and then puts them together to form a unique celebration of art in its simplest form. The latest project will be held at the Holland Art House on Market St., and will run from 8 p.m. until midnight. The work of 11 artists will be featured, representing West Chester, Philadelphia and beyond.

With the combination of art, a dimly-lit space, and music, the night is sure to provide a taste of underground culture for all guests. Also, in the South Gallery, a series of short films will be played continuously, covering a wide variety of subject matters and made by a diverse group of filmmakers.

While all members of the Coalition are volunteers, it should
be noted that more than half of them are West Chester University tudents or alumni. Members include: Diane Sheetz, a 2002 graduate; Andrew Gray, a graduate student in counseling; Max Gottesfeld, an art major; Joshua Braid, a graduate student in education; and Lauren Talley, a nursing major.

“We’re not just trying to appeal to students, but it seems like enough of them come to us and are like ‘that’s cool’ and what can we do to get into this?” said Gray. “Anything that is for college students now doesn’t embrace any artistic creativity or thought or culture. It’s the Irish pubs, bars, what’s on the Internet, what’s on TV, what sitcoms are on – and there’s nothing real there anymore.

That sense of art is all jaded and often over-sensationalized.” Altogether, the Renegade Art Project and the work of the Coalition are an effort to shed some light on the question, “What is art?” The answer: everything. So if you are open-minded and have the desire to add some culture to your life, don’t miss out on this unique opportunity.

Remember, Nov. 20, 8 p.m. through midnight, at the Holland Art House. It is an all-age event that will cost $5 for everyone 21 and older and $3 for the younger crowd. For more information on this event, how to get involved, or any upcoming projects by the Renegade Art Coalition, visit www.renegade-art-coalition.com.

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