…Spins & Needles, where have you been all my (adult) life?!
Aimed at the nightclub demographic, Spins & Needles is mobile art party that produces events that are a mash-up between a bar scene, dance club and art show.
Over the past 6 years, Spins & Needles mobile art parties have been held worldwide in bars, clubs and galleries in places like New York, Germany and Montreal. The variety of entertainment that it offers in one space easily caters to various interests and people.
Before attending the Spins & Needles mobile art party at the Waldorf Hotel, I visited the website and was excited by its concept and international status. I was quite surprised that this would be the first mobile art party to take place in Vancouver, after all, Vancouver thrives on unique events that focus on creativity.
Upon entering the Waldorf to attend the art party, my friends and I were greeted by the blaring underground beats (provided by DJ Jason Pelletier, one of Spins & Needles Creative Directors) that lured us into the dim space downstairs which had a craft supply table right next to the dance floor and two large screens that projected foreign black and white footage.
The other Creative Director of Spins & Needles, designer Melanie Yugo, greeted us and revealed Surrealism as the theme of the party. (FYI themes are chosen randomly, it is just a coincidence that the VAG is currently featuring an exhibition on Surrealism) Then she sent us off into the multi-functional space with slips of papers containing art project prompts.
All of the Spins & Needles projects are quite simple and the atmosphere is relaxed, the purpose of the evening is to have fun and create, not to produce fine art pieces. The art supplies are limited, just the bare necessities: scissors, glue, pencil crayons and paper, which I kind of liked because it allowed me to focus more on the process, rather than on the materials. However, I did speak to fellow partygoers who admitted that they preferred a few more material options.
I am sad to report that Sunday’s turnout were not the kind of numbers Spins and Needles receives when they hold events in places where they are better known and advertised. Ottawa events, where Spins & Needles originated, are routinely packed. Nevertheless, the night turned out to be quite enjoyable. The tables were covered by newspapers and magazines torn apart to accommodate individual art projects with each artist hovered over their piece, simultaneously swaying to the beats and creating. Minus the loud music, I kind of felt like I was in an art class. It was intimate with the occasional chitchat among random folks about their creations.
The only issues I had regarding this particular event were 1) The music being too loud that table conversations had to be shouted. 2) The room was a bit too dark, making it hard for us to see what we were creating. The bright footage on the projectors provided most of the lighting but when it projected darker scenes, it was nearly impossible to see what was right in front of us. And lastly 3) That the mobile art party was not advertised more throughout Vancouver, I know a lot of Vancouverites would have loved to participated!
Overall, my friends and I enjoyed the event for its variety of offerings and agreed that we would definitely attend another Spins & Needles mobile art party, after all, each Spins & Needles party has the same fundamental concepts:
1) to build and sustain creative communities
2) to create an inclusive space where music and art is accessible
3) to encourage and inspire people to be active creators of their lives
….but it is the participants, themes, location and time of each event that make it a unique experience each and every time.
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