We all have heard of First Fridays have we not? But over the years the monthly event has, in my opinion, lost its allure and sense of “festival” once the city commanded the street be open to traffic and kicked, literally, the artists and bands to the curb.
The last Friday of January, I had the great fortune of attending Tempe Art A Gogh-Gogh at The Sail Inn in Tempe.
And it was fantastic.
Practically right off the Light Rail, Tempe Art a Gogh Gogh is part art show, part concert, and a whole lot of fun. Walking around the venue, with a beer in my hand thank you very much, I was blown away by the artists that had set-up shop. Paintings on reclaimed wood, airbrush artists creating one-of-a-kind pieces on the spot, jewelry, clothing, and on this night, world beat, Latin and rock music filled the night air until closing. Uh, yeah, pretty neat.
I caught up with Evan Liggins, my host for the evening, to find out more about this monthly event.
Whose brainchild was this?
Evan Liggins: The idea for Tempe Art A Gogh-Gogh (TAAGG) came from a small, tight group of people who wanted to promote the art scene.
How long have you been holding TAAGG?
EL: We’ve been putting it on at The Sail Inn for almost four years now. Our anniversary show takes place at the end of our summer break.
What are your plans for the future?
EL: Good question! Change is definitely in our future. We constantly strive to create a path for the event to evolve and sort of reinvent itself. Experimenting with different genres and lineups is one of our more fun ways to achieve this – mix that with a lot of our favorites, and we got a diverse show.
Our overall goal: Bigger!
Who are some of the artists and bands that have participated?
EL: Wow! There are a lot to choose from the past four years…let’s see, Erika Jaynes, James B. Hunt, PK, JonDo & Matty B. are pretty much our extended family. Can’t forget Dumperfoo, Caballero, Salty, Smurf, J& Jess Jordan, they all have been big supporters from the beginning.
Bands like, Phoenix Afrobeat Orchestra. Dry River Yacht Club, Playboy Manbaby, Crusher, Hot Birds, Sugar Thieves, Doctor Bones, Companeros, Inept Hero, Sarah Robinson, & Zero Zero, just name a few, and there are plenty more, have all played here.
And our founding beat makers, DJ SupaVaiza & Resident DJ KNS, keep things bouncing in between sets.
How does The Sail Inn feel about the event?
EL: They love it, we love it. We are constantly getting compliments on the different positive vibes we create at their venue. At our bigger shows, we are able to attract an earlier, younger more diverse crowd. These things don’t go unnoticed. We love it for the space and proximity to downtown Tempe. This helps us keep it a neighborhood, community happening vibe that includes, never excludes.
Tempe Art A Gogh-Gogh happens every last Friday at The Sail Inn. If you’re going to attend one monthly event, this is the one to be at – and you won’t even have to dodge a car when you get there.