Belongingness is Found at the Misplaced Showcase
As we are endlessly trying to define art between guidelines like “traditional” and “non-traditional,” we get to participate as spectators of an artist’s perspective all while experiencing our own, regardless of which category the work falls into. Out of this grey area of traditional and non-traditional art, The Misplaced Showcase was born. Misplaced Showcase is a free event that plays the three roles of art market, interactive art exhibit and charity. Attendees are able to see rad art, meet the artists and buy some of the art featured while donating to a great cause.
Misplaced Showcase began when Lucas Ackley and friends JJ Harrison and Bill Galvan were out to lunch one Saturday discussing their favorite art shows and galleries. “We started talking about wanting to help contribute to the already booming local art scene,” says Ackley. He wanted to create a home for forms of art that didn’t necessarily have a home. These forms include prop making, comic book art, toy making and indie arcade programming. “It wasn’t long before we brought a few other local artists to help make the show a reality,” Ackley says.
“Patrons of the show are encouraged to come network and pick all of the artists’ brains about their art.”
The artists featured at Misplaced Showcase are a curated bunch of skilled artists mastering all kinds of art forms. Some of the artists that are attending this year are Ashley Love, Derek & Brighton Ballard, and Jenn Olsen. Love, who was recently featured in SLUG, is known for her surreal, beautiful illustrations. Love creates her work digitally, and while some people don’t consider digital art “traditional,” it’s the perfect vehicle for her fantastical creations. The Ballards own a business called Neuer Geist that originated here in SLC. Their mission is to help business owners create a unique brand. Neuer Geist practices art based in pins, screen prints and tarot cards that feature pop culture references and design. Olsen is known by her moniker deadbinky, through which she sells artwork and does commissions. Olsen, similarly to Love, works in the digital environment to create whimsical designs. These aren’t all of the artists, and attendees will be able to meet with over a dozen local Utah artists and “talk art.”
October’s Misplaced Showcase will be the second on record. Attendees should expect small workshops, talks from people that work in various disciplines and learning something as cool as building the most accurate “Proton Pack.” Last year, a silent auction was one of the most popular attractions. The donated art was a catalyst for bidding wars because the work was just so amazing. “As an example from last year, Bill Galvan gave a talk about what it is like to draw for Archie Comics—how he receives a job and what the back and forth between publisher and artist is like,” says Ackley.
“All the extra hours, conversations and dollars we put into the show feel a little less sharp since we are doing our best to help a local charity.”
Being an artist of the non-traditional sense can have its own difficulties when searching for a sense of belonging in the art community. Since the term “art” is normally associated with traditional mediums, non-traditional artists can feel like there is no place for them to freely feel and create. Ackley stresses this point as being the catalyst for putting together the Misplaced Showcase in the first place. Recognition and success within the art community is hard to come by. That’s why Misplaced Showcase is so important for the local community in Utah. This event gives new artists a chance to connect with others in their same position, and connect with artists who are actively working in the industry. Ackley says, “Patrons of the show are encouraged to come network and pick all of the artists’ brains about their art.” The featured artists will also be selling their art at their own tables.
On top of creating a space for non-traditional artists in Utah, Misplaced Showcase is raising money for the Utah Children’s Justice Center (CJC). The CJC is a program based out of the Utah Attorney General’s Office that coordinates the investigation and prosecution of child abuse. Artists and attendees will band together for a great cause. This makes Misplaced Showcase equal parts art show and charity. “All the extra hours, conversations and dollars we put into the show feel a little less sharp since we are doing our best to help a local charity,” Ackley says. The silent auction feature of last year’s Misplaced Showcase was a big contributor to the donations for CJC. In 2018, Mark Romney’s wall-sized elephant painting sold immediately and all proceeds went to the CJC. Aaron Draplin designed a custom poster to sell and raise money for the CJC this year. The goal for 2019’s Misplaced Showcase is $1,500 in donations.
“I believe it is important to feel open to however we choose to express our creativity. It is different for everyone.”
Ackley’s expectation for Misplaced Showcase this year is, “A really chill time for anyone that wants to come and hang out.”Ackley hopes that he can continue to grow this event and continue to help out the CJC. He’s certain that they will outgrow their venue this year, which means a bigger venue next year—and more artists.
This year will be full of love and belongingness at the Misplaced Showcase. All of these creative minds, attendees and artists alike, will come together and donate to a really great cause while also making some pretty kick-ass art. “I believe it is important to feel open to however we choose to express our creativity. It is different for everyone,” Ackley says.
You can catch the Misplaced Showcase on Oct. 12 at Super Top Secret in downtown SLC. The Misplaced Showcase is a free event, so no worries about finding tickets, but you can find more information at the event’s official website.