Arts » Visual Arts

Avant Grande Art Show: featuring artwork by the Starbuck baristas of Indiana




Four stars

I couldn't get down to this show by its start time because I was scheduled to close a certain bookstore café on Friday night. I don't blame anybody for this: retail is what it is. But it was because of a certain empathy for my brother and sister Starbucks baristas—FOOD SERVICE WORKERS OF THE WORLD UNITE!—that I booked downtown to the ARTBOX before the show, a one-night event, which drew a crowd of about 400 to benefit Young Audiences of Indiana, shut down. There was some good work still on view, including Nathan Winship Smith's stonework with glaze "Bomber Bottles." These were actually three vases with skull and crossbones designs; they were sleek, hip, and professional looking. Not the type of thing you'd necessarily see in your neighborhood Starbucks but that was sort of the point. ARTBOX director Jason Myers was effusive with praise for this caffeinated corporation. "Starbucks really supports the alternative careers of their employees," he said. Part of this corporate support included an information/career building session for emerging baristartists, held three days before this show.


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