If bigger is better than this year’s ArtSlam will be the best ever.
On Saturday Old Main Street will be crammed with Saturday for the ninth edition of Bradenton’s celebration of creativity.
“We have 28 teams of artists plus 13 performances,” said Holly Eisenmann, the event manager for ArtSlam. “That’s the most we’ve ever had. Usually it’s 22, 23 — the low 20s.”
Besides the total number being the highest ever, this year’s event boasts more school groups than ever before, with 12 groups from county elementary, middle and high schools, and two groups from area private schools.
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“Because the event has been around for a while, the word has gotten out and we’ve had more applications than ever before,” Eisenmann said. “Plus we have a really strong relationship with the Manatee County School District.”
The idea behind ArtSlam is to have different groups of students and professional artists come up with interactive activities that turn Old Main Street into an art gallery for a day. Most of this year’s 28 teams have designed installations that allow the public to create their own works of art.
“What’s really great about ArtSlam is that it’s interactive,” Eisemann said. “You get to be part of it. And it’s free, unless you buy something.”
One project, from Manatee County Public Library Youth Services, will have the public create two-dimensional artwork out of recycled material. Those pieces will be combined into a larger canvas that will be exhibited in local libraries. R.H. Prine Elementary’s project will allow ArtSlam visitors to create gyotaku, a traditional Japanese art form of making fish prints on rice paper. Medallion Flowers will offer “Flowery Selfies,” floral picture frames that you can use to adorn your own portrait.
Performances include scenes from “Romeo and Juliet” from Manatee High School and acrobats from Sailor Circus.
It’s unlikely that ArtSlam will grow any bigger any time soon, Eisenmann said. The weekly farmer’s market will be going on at the same time on Saturday, so that leaves little room for ArtsSlam to expand beyond its current 28 teams. Even now, Realize Bradenton has to use alleyways and part of Fourth Avenue to be able to fit in all the art.
“I feel like this is a good size for ArtSlam,” Eisenmann said. “If we get any bigger we’ll have to have projects on the other side of Manatee Avenue, or it would have to be a two-day event.”
Here’s a lineup of the teams taking part:
▪ StiltFun (begins at 10 a.m.) — Featuring balloon twisting and stilt walking.
▪ Feel the Beat with Scott Blum Music (begins at 10 a.m.) — Explore sounds, learn drumming techniques, and experience the joy of creating music together.
▪ “Sense”ible Artistry with Haile Middle School — Haile’s jazz band, dance department and art department team up to create magic and awaken your senses integrating three types of fine art: art, music, dance into one fine arts experience. Audience participation encouraged.
▪ The Dallas and Nick Show — A high-energy, comedy, dare-devil juggling and escape show for all ages.
▪ “Little Artist” by Cory Wright — Award-winning artist Cory Wright will create an original piece inspired by a photo she took of her niece during an art lesson.
▪ Chalk Art for Kids with Realize Bradenton Volunteers — Kids are invited to create their own chalk masterpieces.
▪ Wall of Happiness with Realize Bradenton Volunteers — A collaborative post-it note mural bursting with positivity.
▪ IA Rocks with Inspiration Academy — A collaborative Britto-inspired mural that will “rock” our community, along with a creative make and take rock project.
▪ The Art of Theater with Manatee High School — Experience live theater as Manatee High’s acting class performs an act of “Romeo and Juliet” on a set built by students. Performances will be held at 11:30 a.m. and 3:15 p.m.
▪ Flowery Selfie with Medallion Flowers — This lush floral frame, hand-crafted by florists at Medallion Flowers, is the perfect photo opportunity.
▪ Be Green with Lakewood Ranch High School — Create your own environmentally-friendly masterpiece and support LRHS by purchasing student artwork.
▪ Recycled Art Collaborative Canvas with Manatee County Public Library Youth Services — A series of large canvases created by the public using recycled materials that will be displayed at Manatee County Libraries. Take home your own mini-creation.
▪ Gyotaku with You! with R.H. Prine Elementary — Create your own gyotaku prints and learn more about the traditional Japanese art of making fish prints on rice paper.
▪ Springtime Butterflies with Saint Stephen’s Episcopal School — Make and take home your own springtime butterfly creation using colorful paper and a simple folding technique.
▪ Abstract ArtMazes with TheArtistMSG — A nine-foot long solvable art ArtMaze to stimulate the eye and mind. Plus a custom ArtSlam ArtMaze.
▪ Pieces of Me with Wakeland Elementary — A large-scale movable exhibit made up of the many faces of students at Wakeland. Participants can lift and stack the pieces to create a united artwork.
▪ SaraBay Kidzone with SaraBay Real Estate — Kids of all ages can enjoy crafts from a simpler time.
▪ The Tank & Tilly Kids’ Show with Nicole Hays and AJ Vahn — The eclectic and fun-loving duo will entertain audiences with singing, dancing, & partner acrobatics.
▪ Aerosol Art (Painted Nissan) with Matt McAllister and Firkins Nissan — Watch local artist Matt McAllister transform a Nissan with live aerosol painting.
▪ Community Mural with Bayshore High School — Large, outlined canvases ready to be filled by the public with images of Endangered Florida Wildlife.
▪ Create Your Own Comic with Tytan Comics — Learn the ins and outs of making a comic book.
▪ The Origami World of Bradenton with Origami Air Art Studio — Create your own Bradenton inspired origami creations and airplanes, that actually fly!
▪ Wearable Sand Dollar Art with Manatee Art Education Association — Express yourself creatively using a sand dollar as your canvas.
▪ Cookie Art with University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee College of Hospitality and Technology Leadership — Build your own sweet and tasty work of art with culinary students and instructors.
▪ Living in Layers with Manatee School for the Arts — An interactive landscape where artists, dancers, performers, and community members are invited to step into the painted layers. Performances inspired by the project will be held throughout the day.
▪ Spaghetti The Clown — This one man circus will delight all ages.
▪ Printing with World Piece — Hands on printing for kids and adults on canvas and T-shirts.
▪ Elements of Life: Live Body and Face Painting with Southeast High School VPA Academy — Full body master paintings will be created onsite while children and their families are invited to have their face or arm painted with the design of their choice.