Over one hundred artists, musicians and vendors set up shop over last weekend inside the Monroe Center for the Arts for the 4th Annual Digable Arts Festival. For the first time, the entire parking lot was turned into a three-stage space for live bands. Besides live music fans, the parking lot also offered food vendors carrying green tea, peanuts, donuts and hot dogs as well as crowds of all ages making life-size bubbles with bubble nets.
The theme of the Digable Arts Festival is “DIY,” or do-it-yourself. Festival organizer Roland Ramos explained his own hand in the DIY game. “The whole premise is ‘DIY’ so that is why I’m doing it myself but, I have a whole team of talented curators here to help me.” Ramos went to the Hudson School right here in Hoboken and studied subjects that really nurtured the arts. This week he leaves for Vienna and Budapest for a curatorial residency. “I want to bring everything I learn back to Hoboken, said Ramos. “I couldn’t be happier [with the turnout of the event]. We took over the entire parking lot for live bands, we’ve never had that before.” Ramos feels that the arts are really beginning to flourish in town and was happy with the local businesses willing to help with the festival.
Two floors full of creativity
The second and fourth floors of the Monroe Center were filled to the brim with sculptures, installations, paintings and other works of art. It was tough to see them all in just one weekend but a few stood out like artist Amanda Wilson, Rama Jamoukha, What the Folk Art by Thomas Shelton, the “Stovetop: Evolution to Revolution” piece by Dustin Gramando at the entrance, painter Stephanie Guillen, artist Bayan Ciclese and artist Gary Wynans. A piece by Wynans dedicated to a more “positive depiction” of the infamous film Fight Club was extremely eye catching. “I love Fight Club, but its very dark and gritty. I had to put a positive spin on it,” said Wynans.
Cupcakes made of gold?
Among the food available for purchase at the event, were trays of delicious homemade vanilla and chocolate cupcakes and oversized marshmallows. Several cupcakes and marshmallows were flecked with a shiny topping that turned out to be…24K gold. That’s right, 24K gold flecks dressed trays of desserts.
The baker disclosed that her boyfriend, artist AKA999, used the same shavings in his paintings. AKA999, who went to school in Hoboken for 8 years but lives now in Jersey City explained, “I couldn’t find a shinier paint than gold itself. My girlfriend actually gave me the idea. It’s the same gold they used to use to put on the Buddhist temples.” Artist AKA999 and his girlfriend import the expensive decorations to add an extra little shine to their respective work. AKA999 compared the paint molds he uses to raise his work to that of making cupcakes. We’re not sure if it was the gold flecks or the cream cheese frosting, but those were some delicious cupcakes!
Gold or no gold, we are very much looking forward to next year for the 5th annual display.