934 Gallery merged an open-air concert with a traditional gallery exhibition this past weekend in the third annual installment of 934 Fest.
The aim of the 934 Fest, a volunteer-run event, was to attract people who might have never visited an art gallery before, said Lisa Steward, exhibitions director and mural coordinator.
“We really strive to have this open and welcoming feeling in our festival and we try to do this year-round in the gallery space as well,” Steward said.
More than 20 music acts performed across stages and activities were offered for children by the Wexner Center for the Arts. Vendors sold vintage clothes, postcards and keychains, and two food trucks offered drinks and snacks to visitors.
For the first time, the festival took place over two days. However, due to poor weather conditions, the second day was rescheduled for Saturday, a month after the initial start of the event.
The festival was free to enter, with the hopes of providing more accessible and affordable art. However, donations were encouraged to help the continued operation of the gallery.
Steward said the gallery chose its more remote location at 934 Cleveland Ave., a mile away from High Street, to attract a different array of artists.
“We are providing artists who might not fit into the ‘High Street mold’ a chance to exhibit here,” Steward said.
Steward said people were initially drawn in by the activities and music and eventually made their way to the exhibition and murals.
“I made sure that I was choosing a diverse crew of muralists — women, queer artists, people of color — who might not have had a chance to do murals in the city before,” Steward said.
Johnny Riddle, sponsor relations coordinator and music committee lead of the festival, said he is proud to have invited DANK, which stands for Dope Ass Negro Kids, to 934 Fest.
“I wanted to have a mixture of more established acts as well as some of the up-and-coming acts that you may not see on stage just yet,” Riddle said.
Liv Barney, a Native American muralist, painted her first large-scale mural live during the festival.
“Typically, with my work, I like it to show native dancers or just native culture in substance, even if it’s contemporary or traditional,” Barney said.
Barney wanted to support the gallery by offering this performance to the festival and painted three dancers in different poses for the mural.
The exhibition inside the gallery, entitled “What The Living We Know,” by Mandi Caskey, will be on display until Oct. 19.