GULF SHORES, ALABAMA — As far as galleries go, it’s pretty tough to beat a half a mile of white-sand beach on the Gulf of Mexico.
So when the organizers of the Hangout Festival reached out to a pair of local artists — Bruce Larsen and Nall — to see if they’d be interesting in displaying some of their work on said beach, well, it didn’t take them very long to get a response.
“It’s an honor,” Larsen said. “I mean, this is one of the real cultural events in south Alabama.”
What’s more, Larsen, a sculptor who creates primal works out of metal and driftwood, and Nall, famous for his provocative pieces of mixed media, would be showing their works in Hangout’s artist compound … meaning the likes of the Kings of Leon and Kendrick Lamar will be strolling through and having a look. And though fine art might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a massive music festival, well, it turns out the two artists are feeling right at home.
“To include art [makes sense]; these are all intangibles, music, it goes right to your soul.” Larsen said. “It’s eclectic, we put together different pieces, and music uses different notes, it’s like a sculpture. We’re using pieces people recognize, and I think it evokes memories.”
Of course, there’s more to the gallery than just giving musicians something to look at in-between complimentary beverages … it’s also about raising awareness of Alabama’s cultural treasures.
“It brings a world view; I was doing this thing called Alabama Art, to raise the consciousness of art to the level of the consciousness of football in this state,” Nall said. “We have musicians, we have writers, we have singers, and nobody is really aware that they’re Alabama people. We’re rich in culture.”
Starting Friday, MTV, VH1 and CMT will be on the ground at Hangout 2013, bringing you all the latest news, interviews, performances and more from the Shores. If you’re not able to be there, be sure to check in and watch live streaming performances all weekend.