The excitement in the air could be felt even prior to entering Casselmans Bar and Event Center on Walnut Street Saturday Night. Was it because of the light snow that was falling, or was it because of the event I was attending, FirePower Production’s “Naughty Noel Christmas Art and Music Showcase”.
This event came to fruition by Jennifer Levine of FirePower Production. “I wrote an essay about 8 years ago titled “Art is Dead”, it was a call to arms for artists. How do you keep the visual arts alive in an on-demand, fast food, drive through, dollar menu society?” Levine explains “So I created a summer blow out event a couple years ago where I combined glass blowing artists with other visual artists. Creating an inter-active event”.
FirePower Production is committed to engaging the audience with a creative expression of several different mediums of artwork in one location. From Burlesque to body painting, glass blowing and jewelry by Cerrius Designs and Abby Sparks Design to painters and metal artwork by Doug Schneck, every inch of Casselmans was utilized with visual candy. There was even tattooing near the front bar by LIT Tattoo Shop and Luke Guratosky, Ink.
Vivienne VaVoom was our MC for the Burlesque. As always Vivienne and her crew of dancers strutted their vivacious bodies from one end of the stage to the other teasing the audience with their glance. Then fulfilling the commitment of clothing release by encouraging whistles and thunderous claps.
The music thumped through the night with a cheering beat of dance rhythms by PLAYdj, A.K.A. Vegas, DJ Jus Panda and J.E.Z., they had the crowd on their feet.
FirePower Production’s mission is community outreach, community education. “One of my purposes with FirePower is to show people that while glass blowers make their living creating and selling glass pipes, it is important to educate the community that we are also creating functional art” states Levine. “When people see these same artists that are creating pipes are also making incredible chandeliers then they see and understand that these artists are also making traditional art. It is changing that didactic”.
“The other aspect of bringing the art to the club scene is that this is the demographic that is graduating. They came from schools with a an art budget that was probably slashed and they really don’t understand the traditional arts or how art is created” Levine says, “So community outreach is community education. We are bringing the arts to the places that these young individuals find entertaining, such as nightclubs as opposed to waiting for them to find us. The other thing is these kids are also tech savvy with social media and other things, taking pictures and sending those out, showing that there are cool things happening and where to go”.
“There are 5,000 visitors on the homepage of the Santa Fe Arts District, those 5,000 visitors are made aware of First Friday events, yet there are still people in Denver, born and raised that don’t know about it” Levine states and continues “Our sponser D & L Art Glass does such a great job of getting the word out about glass artists. They are known as a glass art supply source, integrating all the glass arts from torch to stained glass and slumping. D & L is not just a supply house, they are an artist driven concept”. The question first resonated in Levine’s thoughts and then she shared ”There are modestly over 1,500 glass blowers in Colorado, so my question is, why isn’t Denver more of an art tourism destination”. If FirePower Production keeps these events up, then Denver will gain better recognition for it’s artists, art scene and nontraditional artistic venues.
FirePower Production showcases professional artists for each of their events. FirePower Production plans to continue to produce engaging events by bringing the traditional arts to nontraditional venues. You may visit www.FirePowerProductions.com or visit their Face Book page at www.facebook.com/FirePowerProductions for more information.
Wendy L. Pitton R. is a culture writer for 303 Magazine and the owner of WENDO Productions. WENDO Productions is an artistic production and artist representative company. WENDOProductions.com