Turns out PBR can be classy and cultural. The PBR Art Show, hosted by Indyink and Illiterate Magazine, was an opportunity for local artists and writers to pay homage to the only beer they can afford. The show was part of a mulit-city, call-for-entry extravaganza where participants had a chance to win four grand prizes of $1893 and a year’s worth of PBR.
As a whole, the art submitted was OK. Don’t get me wrong, some pieces were absolutely amazing, but being an open-entry, salon-style show, naturally some entries were far superior than others. Illiterate and Indyink definitely displayed all the pieces well. The minimalistic white walls of Illiterate, and the dark, earth tone walls of Indyink, served as the perfect showcase for an assortment of beer can depictions, and there were several pieces that gave me a solid buzz. Josh Holland’s gel-transfer on wood panel illustration, Mark Sink’s wonderful photographs, and the Damien Hirst-esque submerged PBR bottle in beer made that blue ribbon look as high-end as New Belgium.
What really made the show great was the event itself. A house packed with hipsters, all-you-can drink-free-PBR and live music? Everyone’s a winner with that set-up. DJ Matt Palmer started the night off with an unbelievable set, followed by a pretty good set by Josephine and the Mouse People. Both were humbled by Jonathan and BPro, who undoubtedly stole the show. At that point, the gallery was so packed, you could not even move, let alone bring a beer can to your lips. Next door, Indyink was screen-printing free PBR shirts and had live art by Chris Huth and Sam Turner.
Unfortunately, the free PBR ran out by 10 pm. Illiterate told me that over 900 cans were provided for the evening festivities, but it turns out a bunch of arty kids turn into full-fledged frat boys when free beer is an option. Although the beer ran out fast, Illiterate, Indyink and Pabst would’ve had it no other way. The verdict: PBR Art Show was a great show at a great venue.