Welcome to the FUNHOUSE • Art & Music Festival Overview

Posted In: Arts & Entertainment, National Music, Culture, Community Profiles,   From Issue 877   By: Robert E Martin

04th April, 2019     0

Our region is poised to explode with a brilliant flourish of color and sound the weekend of April 25-27th as the FUNHOUSE Art & Music Festival (formerly known as the PATCHWORK Festival) brings an impressive coterie of A-List musicians and contemporary artists to various venues in Saginaw & Bay counties for what can truly be called the ‘Bounce House’ of Festivals.

Spearheaded by Counter Culture proprietors Ben Champagne & Curtis Dalton, who wanted to deliver an organic, intimate, and top-level weekend of entertainment & art to the region partly to celebrate Counter Culture’s 4th birthday while also reprising the ambitious vitality of their ground-breaking PATCHWORK festivals, the focus is to create the excitement, energy, and attraction of a large festival with the feel of a smaller more intimate show.

“Instead of doing 50 different events over the course of an entire week like we did with PATCHWORK, with FUNHOUSE our goal is scale it back to a 3-day weekend featuring three major shows that really hit hard and make sure all of them are packed with patrons,” explains Curtis.  “We decided to take the spirit of just the FUNHOUSE art show we did as part of PATCHWORK and weave it into all these events,” adds Ben.

Kicking things off will be the Opening Art Reception held at Counter Culture in Saginaw, which will feature visual artists Parker Day, Angela Deane, Christina Kenton, Shaina Kasztelan and Loser Angeles from 5-7 PM, followed by a concert featuring Teddy Robers & the Mouths, Dogleg, Pinch and Fanclub Singles, which begins at 7 PM.

Friday, April 26th will feature Joe Hertler & the Rainbow Seekers, Michigander and The Dropout, which will also be showcased at Counter Culture; and then Saturday, April 27th will feature the major headlining show at Bay City’s Historic Masonic Temple that will feature Twin Peaks, Post Animal, Vince Dynamic and Ampersand Castles with the show starting at 6 PM.

Twin Peaks is a band we’ve had our eye on since we started these festivals and have always wanted to do a show with them,” states Ben when asked about the musical line-up. “They fit the ethos of FUNHOUSE because their live shows are so good and so much fun - to me they kind of sound like The Rolling Stones meets New Age music and they have an amazing ability to turn each of their songs into a tribal sing-a-long. They have a new sound but also the spirit of old time Rock ‘n Roll.  As for our Opening Night headliner, Sidekicks, they’re sort of new but similar to Twin Peaks possess a lot of exuberance and energy. Groups that deliver a lot of fun with their music is behind what guided our selections.”

As for the Arts portion of the festival, all the visual artists involved will have their work on display at Counter Culture from April 25 - August 1st, with some of the works possibly taking a road trip to the Saginaw Art Museum and Masonic Temple in Bay City.

We have a great art curator, Erin Case, who’s originally from Midland and lives in Milwaukee now, but has been with us since the early days of Counter Culture’s first art show,” explains Curtis. “Parker Day is super-notable with awesome credentials and fits the FUNHOUSE aesthetic of featuring artists creating work like nobody that’s around our immediate region. We’re going to have a total of seven artists featured and all of them are popular on Instagram and are part of the wave of new art that is now being transmitted for consumption through digital Apps and Phones. This style of art has grown considerably and in bigger cities like L.A. and New York this is what’s popular, so we are bringing it town.”

Featured artist Christina Kenton is a self-taught mixed media/ lighter-themed artist from Vancouver BC. Christina has been creating her surreal pieces around fully functioning lighters for over 12 years. She was born into a world of art with her grandfather Ladislav Guderna - a well-known surrealist painter and a huge inspiration in her work. Along with her grandfather, dreams, animals, forensics and surrealism play a big part of influence in her work. Christina has chronic vertigo from a past brain injury and uses art and painting a distraction and therapy for her anxiety and balance disorder.

“My work is hours, days, weeks, and years of solitary laboring,” she explains. “The drive is constant and I approach my work systematically. It’s like a construction project and once it’s completed, the cycle of new ideas continues. I rely a lot on dreams as inspiration, or ideas usually flood in just before I fall asleep. I don't have any rules so sometimes pieces are really light, humorous, dark or have no meaning at all. I do not analyze my work and I do not think of outside opinions. People liking my working is a bonus in making pieces. I am grateful to all the shows/ features I have been included in and feel great that my work travels and lives all over the place.”

“I feel like my work constantly changes because I get bored really easily,” she continues. “Not big changes always, but nothing can ever be done twice. I really enjoy bigger pieces now - the more complicated and longer they take the better. I like to include a lot of interests like dentistry/animal friendships and phobias. I like to think of my work as very friendly.”

Tickets for the FUNHOUSE Art & Music Festival can be obtained by going to WelcomeToFunhouse.com and 3-day Festival passes are available for only $40.00; while single show tickets go for $13.00 advance; $15.00 at the door for the first two Thursday & Friday shows and $22.00 advance/$25.00 at the door for the Saturday night Masonic Temple show. Shorts Brewery will be the official Festival Sponsor again and will bringing in some of their specialties to each of the shows.

 

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