Art and Music Come Together at ARISE
This past weekend was the Arise music festival. Tons of people from Colorado and the surrounding states flooded Sunrise Ranch to experience three days of top quality local and national musical talent. In a past interview with one of the festival’s creators a different aspect of the festival was highly stressed though. The Arise music festival was a co-collaborative festival as well. That means there was a heavy presence in both the art and culture aspects of the festival. And as I checked out the festival this was apparent. As soon as you see the main stage you can’t ignore the giant piece of burner art on the hill. It’s a ten foot metal owl with a jar asking for propane-money donations. As I approached it to get a better look I found one of the people who put it together resting in a shade shelter.
“My name is Joseph, they call me Ground Fire” he says casually. Ground Fire is a burner artist. For those who don’t know burner art are large structures designed to be filled with propane and burned. (See the picture of the giant owl above). “I didn’t put together the owl… but it came out of my space. I helped them put it together. I do other big metal art projects.” As a burner artist Ground Fire travels to different festivals to display his art work. But it’s not common that burner art is included in music festivals. “I’ve been to a good amount of these festivals. And when burner art is involved it’s different. It’s very high intention art but you also find F***itude like our metal projects. And they didn’t start to bring that stuff in until they found out people were willing to handle that kind of… stuff”. “People started collaborating and big **** started happening. We started doing interesting **** and interesting people tend to come with that.”
And Arise is no stranger to interesting artists. A rule with being a featured artist is that you have to work on an active art piece all weekend long. Isaac Carpenter has been an artist at Arise all three years the festival has been going on. “I’ve had this old 77 Mercedes for a couple years and it’s my daily driver. I got it off of craigslist a few years ago and the paint job is kind of dull. … I finally decided on doing some outer space stuff with some tribal plants stenciling. The funny thing is when this car had a s*****y blue paint job everyone thought it was a cool car. But when I painted it everyone wonders ‘will that drive?'” He says that the feeling that the car is art because it’s junk comes up a lot. “When everyone sees the car covered with bondi and tape they think it’s a redneck piece of trash. You’re really seeing live painting taking off at music events in Denver, Seattle, and cities like that. Get a portfolio lined up, every festival has an application for artists to fill out.” And Arise specifically looks for artists no one has heard of before so there is a real gap for people to step in.
And there were plenty of new artists to meet at the festival. Wandering along the hill I stumbled upon a labyrinth made of bamboo sticks and colored ribbon. It was their first year at the festival as creators and they were very excited to be a part of the scene. I talked to artists doing live paintings during the concerts. Everyone I talk to agrees that the art scene at Arise is taking off. And everyone appreciates it too. One concert goer said, “it’s like all the introverts in the mountains came down to create something beautiful. I’ve been going to festivals every weekend of the summer for about eight years now and I haven’t seen a lot of stuff like this. But I like it.” Arise’s creative feeling doesn’t just come from the artists either. I could write a whole other article about what the festival does to encourage creativity amongst the concert goers. Communal slack lines and aerial hoops are strewn about everywhere. Not only is the art and creative scene at the Arise music festival alive. It’s thriving.
– Written by Tyler Stup
August 14th, 2015