Artopia - MUZEO - March 22,2014
Photo of Paul F. Contreras's "Ticking Time Bomb" by Scott Feinblatt
The Muzeo stands in the heart of the city of Anaheim. Within its main gallery, the Carnegie Building, and Anaheim Heritage Center are contained artifacts and documents which tell the tale of the town's history as well as galleries which display the works of local artists and touring exhibitions. The Muzeo museum and cultural arts center are also available for hosting events, and on the evening of Saturday, March 22, OC Weekly set up shop in honor of its 2nd annual OC People issue.
As the name of the event, Artopia, indicates, this celebration highlighted the arts. Vendors of quality culinary delights as well as those of non-perishables lined the Muzeo's courtyard and occupied some of the gallery space, which was principally set up to showcase the artwork of 10 local artists, who were selected by the public. As it frequently turns out in events such as these, the overall programming can threaten to eclipse the focus on the featured artists. However, since the programming was principally made up of local musicians and vendors, the result was a well-balanced milieu in which patrons of the arts, scenesters, and locals could mill about between the hours of 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
The impressive line of folks wanting to gain access to Artopia stretched about 200 ft., through one of its two connecting courtyards, from the entrance of the event to West Center Street Promenade, for an hour before it finally tapered off. Part of the $20 admission fee (or $40 for a VIP ticket) contributed to the operational costs of the event, but the proceeds principally sponsored the 501(c)(3) non-profit Muzeo and its ongoing operations.
Once guests were through the gates, they could sample varieties of free food, use tickets to sample a few drinks (and buy additional ones), and patronize the non-food vendors (including booths featuring: the designer swimwear of Syrup; the men's barbershop, Hawleywood's; and, the smokey stylings of Majestic Hookah and Vapor [what 21st century event wouldn't be complete without the ubiquitous vape shop?]). Of course, as prominently placed as the vendors were, they and their goods were periphery to the featured aspects at this celebration of the arts.