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Art Mixx Maui – Taken By Wonder

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Art Mixx Maui October 4th, 2013 with Eric Gilliom

The MACC might be on to something. Two or three times a year the Maui Arts and Cultural Center rolls out Art Mixx Maui, an interactive multi-media art extravaganza which is FREE to the public. This new edition of Art Mixx which took place on October 4th, 2013, explored the theme of WONDER, tagging onto the current Schaefer Gallery exhibit, Wes Bruce’s “Taken By Wonder”.

the big hat

Stepping into the gallery, there was a nice beehive energy of activity. The major driver of this was the amazing fort-like found object structure built by Wes Bruce. Crowds weaved in and out of the various rooms, exploring and discovering the many gems hidden within the wooden walls – literally with smiles on their faces and many murmuring aloud that they’ve reclaimed their childhood.

Wes Bruce - Taken by Wonder - Inside FortThis was my second visit to the exhibit. On the first encounter I found myself unexpectedly surprised and thrilled (see article) with the “fort”. On this trip, it was fun to see others experience that same sense of joy that I had. And then it occurred to me. What made this exhibit so enriching, was the uncanny way it brought me back to my childhood. As a kid, we built forts with leftover lumber, metal roofing and any other scraps we could find that my dad had lying around the house. The forts were my sanctuary as well as hide-out, clubhouse and army base. As a young child, my world was continuously filled with new experiences and discoveries. Over the years, as I’ve experience more and more of the world, that sense of the new seems to be less and less and fewer and farther between, which is why this exhibition seems so special. It brought me back to that time of my youth and feeling I discovered new, or probably more accurately, reminded me of a time when every day things could be filled with joy and wonder.

peeking out of fort by Wes Bruce at ArtMixx Maui Taken by wonder

people of wonder

We decided to hang out in the parlor of the fort for a while since every so often a new person would hop onto the old piano and play a song for all of us, while people played with the penny rain-maker to add sound to the festivities.

fort parlor pianist

parlor wonders

Usually, in past Art Mixx Maui events, there were a multitude of stations both in and out of the gallery in which guests could interact and experience the goings-on. In this version, the focus was basically on two things. The first being Bruce’s installation, the second, the band on the main stage headlined by Eric Gilliom and special surprise guest (and amazing guitarist) Vince Esquire. They did a tribute to Stevie Wonder in the first set. Backed up by three gogo dancers that reveled for the entire set. Their raucous energy had the place hopping.

vince-esquire-eric-gilliom

crowd at art mixx maui

One of the things that makes Art Mixx such a happening event is its energy. The creative, free-spirit vibe that flows, inspires attendees to costume and calls to mind Burning Man or mardi gras. What is also great is the general positive, “feel good” attitude of the throng. They just want to cut loose, have some fun and party, both young and old. I commend the MACC for finding inventive ways to continuously draw a wide cross section of Maui’s populace to its gates. Art Mixx is welcome addition to the Valley Isles’ entertainment spectrum.

rainbow girls at the art mixx maui october 2013

art mixx maui wonders

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