2500 SUMMER ST – For the past two years it has been rumored that there is an awesome party over at 2500 Summer Street every summer. I missed them both due to traveling. This year I was able to catch the festivities in all of its summer glory.
Not living far from the event I decided to ride my bike to the event. That’s when I noticed the immense heat. Sweat was dripping off my Ray-Bans I was sweating so hard. I arrive to see a host of tents set up with vendors. These are not your ordinary vendors. These folks for the most part are artists displaying and selling their art. There were all sorts of things you could buy from paintings, to t-shirts to jewelry. There was a wide enough array of items to beckon even the most casual of observers.
Just beyond the tents there was an open area for bands to perform in front of their audiences. A bit dusty and definitely hot it gave off the feel of one of those desert parties you hear about in the West (if you don’t know about those parties…). The variety of bands were interesting. From your classic rock to a fusion of Metal and Spanish rock. Please forgive me for my ignorance on the genre. It was cool nonetheless to hear a new sound.
I decided to take a reprieve from the heat and walk inside to see the art displayed. The first collection of paintings on wood was from Artboy Designs. Some pop culture references displayed on wood.
The very next artist I met was Anuska Martinez. She has a very delightful demeanor. It was a good to see an artist so young persuing her dreams by using her artistic gifts. She’s well on her way.
I kept walking through looking at all of the various works. The building is host to number of studios for artists. Some of their work from paintings, to installations to photos was on full display throughout the building. I know one of the artists (James Perez) down the hall and I was interested in seeing what he’s worked on recently.
WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT AHEAD
I bumped into some other noted movers and shakers in the Houston art community and beyond, Dandee aka “Dandee Warhol” aka “Dandee Lion” owner and curator of War’hous visual studios and critically acclaimed photog and designer David Nguyen .
I hung out a bit more and people watched a bit. It seemed everyone was doing their own thing a bit. I needed to go regroup for the night part. I missed the fashion show, but I’m sure you can find it somewhere on the internet. I saw cameras set up etc. so just Google it.
Upon my return around 10pm I was greeted by some music off in the distance. At first there were a few people over there. There was a man rapping in the distance and the sound was somewhat magnetic. It started to draw everyone outside including me to the stage area. The hip-hop artist performing was Nikkhoo. I was completely shocked because I had met this guy several times. He was the guy I was tossing a football with at the Menil Park. He was the dude I would see at Agora and Siphon. Are you kidding me?! This little dude can rap?! Not only can he rap, he can rap really well!
The energy that he was giving from the performance was electrifying. It was affecting the entire crowd and rightfully so. If the party part of this festival hadn’t started, it for sure did at this moment. Everyone was dancing and vibing to the music accentuated by pyro and lighting effects. It was awesome!
The small group that I was with decided to go inside for a bit. They hadn’t seen the artwork and we needed refreshment. We walked down to my pal James studio and chilled out with the crowd in their listening to music and admiring his artwork. The dude is a one-of-a-kind. I have a really kind story for anyone to hear about this man and how I met him. If you think he’s a great artist, which you damn well better, he has an even better character.
One of our mutual friends was having one of the last performances. The name of this band is Batalá! Batalá is a Brazilian percussion band playing traditional Bahian rhtyhms of Samba Reggae. This was the perfect stamp of approval for the evening. It was a pure percussion band that was marching to the beat in the space outside.
The sounds of the drum do something to humans. We all feel it. There’s something ancient about the beat of a drum that moves us in spiritual ways. This night was no different. Everyone within earshot of this band gathered around as they played a percussion version of samba in the night. We followed them all the way to the stage area and danced the night away.
To sum up the night as fun would be to understate the collective positive energy that everyone shared that night. Its a wonderful thing when people are simply celebrating life and art together. I can’t wait until next year. This event will only get bigger and better.