If someone tells you they saw a work of art in a bar, it's more likely the start of a story about a night of partying hard than an actual bonafide painting. But that's about to change Sunday after Pyrenees Cafe hosts the first Artist Connection show.
It's fitting that this show takes place in this rollicking Old Town Kern bar as it embodies the plucky spirit of the artists behind it.
Beckie Aguilar came to a realization last year after a gallery show of hers that a friend had helped sponsor. She said it wouldn't have been possible without someone assisting with the financial end.
"I realized how much it would have cost in commission. That’s why a lot of artists don’t have an outlet for it. It's very expensive (to have a show). A great portion of the work goes to the galleries. I've been in business for myself since I was 15 years old, I know how it works. But there has to be a better way."
For the Artist Connection, that way is finding supportive friends who can offer you a venue. Aguilar, a musician as well as artist, turned to Rod and Julie Crawford, who she knew from years of playing at the bar and through commissioned art work.
"I've had some venues offer to let me have a show but I kind of just wanted Pyrenees to be the first because they’ve been so very supportive. They've bought four or five of my paintings. It’s very humbling for that to be a reality. I just wanted to show my appreciation."
Along with Aguilar, the exhibit will include work from Jorge Guillen, Louis Chavez Jr. and Terry Tripp, all three who have been featured recently in gallery shows, and Amy Richardson, Sumah Guns and underground artist Esteban Smear.
"I'm really super excited with the artists who have responded," Aguilar said, noting that artists continued to join even in the week leading up to the show.
"Most of these people have a really good following."
The artist said she's looking forward to Sunday's show, which will take over Pyrenees' outdoor patio and back bar area.
"We’re getting our art out to you, straight from the artists to the consumer. Just one-on-one negotiations. You can barter, get a job or commission.
"I like shows where you can talk to the artist. It’s always interesting to get people’s thoughts on your artwork."
As for what the future holds, Aguilar said she'd like to maybe bring fellow artists together for shows twice a year.
"I know that Pyrenees’ door is always open. I'm sure it will happen again."