Waterloo Arts Hypes Colorful Fun at 6th Annual DayGloSho

Fri 2/2 @ 6-9PM

Have you ever wondered what would happen if 40 different artists who normally specialize in different media were to let their hair down and have fun with DayGlo paints?

Well, the answer to that question can be found at the Waterloo Arts 6th annual DayGloSho featuring dozens of local artists showing off their wild works. The black light-friendly opening reception, scheduled for Fri 2/2 at the Waterloo Road venue, encourages visitors to dress in masquerade or make a mask at the party to enter into the best costume contest. The all-ages affair is free (but donations are accepted).

CoolCleveland talked to Waterloo Arts executive director Amy Callahan about this year’s annual DayGloSho.

CoolCleveland: The DayGloSho sounds so cool. What was its origin?

Amy Callahan: This is the third year we’ve done it. It was started by artist John Saile. He had been playing around with fluorescent paint, and he had a lot of fun using it. He thought some other artists might be interested in using it, so he approached the DayGlo Color Corp. and asked for a donation of paint. The first three exhibits were at Doubting Thomas in Tremont. There was a lot of enthusiasm for this show. John kind of wanted to take it to a little bit of a different level, but still keep it very community-oriented and community-friendly. So he approached me about having this show in the gallery here. DayGlo still donates paint and prizes for the artists. Every fall we send out an application for people to sign up and show their interest. Then we’ll select some artists from the application and also invite artists who didn’t apply, but we think would have fun with this show.

CC: What can we expect to see?

AC: The attraction of this show is just the artists that are using DayGlo; they’re artists that work in a wide array of styles. Some of them are not even painters. They may be fiber artists or sculptors. I think it gives them something new to experiment with, which is a lot of fun. Some of the people use it in their more traditional style, but sometimes they totally break away from that because it really gives them a lot of freedom to be in the show.

CC: It seems as though the DayGloSho is just play time for artists. Is that fair?

AC: I think that’s true. Obviously, the colors are just so fun in the daylight and fun when it’s glowing. Something the paint really does create almost another dimension. So these artists you might be familiar with their paintings, when you look at them in DayGlo, it’s almost like you’re entering the painting. It’s a really interesting experience. I don’t want to make it out like it’s just a sort of silly time or it’s all kind of pop art. I know we think of the ’70s and height of DayGlo colors, and some of the artists might be working in that kind of tradition, but there really is a variety of applications. Artists are all about experimentation, so it makes sense they’d want to play with this.

CC: How has the show evolved over the years?

AC: The regular format of the show has stayed the same. We’ve added some elements. For the opening reception, it’ll be combined with the DayGlo party. So it has the Mardi Gras theme and people will be able to experiment with painting in the studio space of our building. Everything will be in black light with glowing cocktails and live music. The first time we did it, it was like a rave for all ages without drugs. It’s one of the things about this show that’s so great is that it’s super accessible. So little kids come in and they might be grumbling about being dragged to an art gallery, but as soon as they get in there, they’re like, “Wow, my shirt is glowing,” and they start looking at all of the art.

CC: Tell us how you’ve branched the DayGloSho into the community.

AC: We’ve expanded on the idea to work with schools. We’re just starting that this year. We’ve already done a workshop in a Collinwood High School freshman science class where we went in and talked about the properties of light and how the fluorescent light works. We had them paint, and now those students will come for a field trip to see this exhibit. It’s an interesting way to talk to kids about the intersection of art and science, and how they’ve influenced each other throughout history. It’s just a tool that can get used in the science classes more than it is used. So we’re reaching out to the schools in our neighborhood.

CC: Finally, just confirming, we don’t have to be tripping to enjoy the DayGloSho?

AC: (laughs) No, not at all. This is a really fun event that’s about the art. It’s really interesting work, and it’s a good variety.

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