I last saw talented performer Andy Pickett in a supporting role at a Deanna Valone show at Live Oak Music Hall & Lounge. I was anxious to see him in a different setting, and this was certainly different: an as-indie-as-it-gets art show in a second-floor apartment in a four-plex in Fort Worth’s Fairmount neighborhood.
Funkytown has a thriving photographic art scene, but for many artists, there is no place but Facebook to show their work. Diana Urbina, known as the Nuisance, has decided to take matters into her own hand. She emptied out her sprawling vintage apartment for the night, strung lights for the artwork, and set up live music in the living room. Through word of mouth and social media, she had a packed house.
When I climbed the stairs to La Maison de Urbina (as it was described in the event notice), I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’ve been to pop-up gallery shows before, usually in a more industrial setting, but this was in a residence. Once inside, it was easy to forget this was someone’s home. The walls were covered with an inspiring array of photographic art and at least 150 people milled about, discussing the works with their creators. There were photos on display from Erin Rambo, Holli Dylan Rae, Brian Songy, Jordan Peters, Pitaru Pitaru, Jessica Martinez, Donnie Williams and Jean Luc Villa.
And Pickett’s music couldn’t have provided a more perfect finishing touch to the atmosphere.
Pickett is a talented performer, and he easily establishes a rapport with his audience. He played piano while making conversation with the crowd (even asking questions about vintage camera gear). He is more than capable of being the center of attention, but an art show is about the art and he kept things interesting yet balanced. After touring the exhibit I spent much of the night sitting on the balcony with the cool kids (the smoking section, it seems), enjoying the breeze and listening to the piano filtering out through the open doors.
There is a downside to having an event like this in a neighborhood, and around 9:30 we got a visit from one of Fort Worth’s finest concerning a neighbor’s complaint about the noise.
No matter, the music stopped before the police even arrived, and the crowd was beginning to dissipate. As for Urbina, she seems open to the idea of doing more of these events.
“I would like to, actually,” she says. “Curate and maybe start a collective — or move to a gallery space. But I think this works for now.”
If you are interested in future events, you can contact Diana Urbina by email at Dianamichelleurbina@gmail.com.