The seemingly separate worlds of art and basketball are colliding “In the Paint” at Voltage on Friday night. The Kendall Square coffee shop is hosting a new exhibit positioned to bring the caffeine-craving art aficionados and the best of Boston’s diehard sports fans together into one room for a new kind of conversation.
Crystal Germond of Heart n’ Stomach PR brought the idea to Voltage’s Curator/Art Director Anna Schindelar after talking to the team behind Double Scribble, a daily curated art blog run by Nicholas Kastner and Michael McGrath Jr. She was introduced by her husband Ananth Pandian, a writer for ESPN TrueHoop’s Hardwood Paroxysm.
“When Ananth and I were talking to the guys about what would be a great match, we immediately thought of Voltage,” Germond says. “Having been to other shows at Voltage, it’s a casual, low-pressure environment to check out art.”
For Pandian, a big basketball fan, “It’s exciting to show another side of basketball.”
Double Scribble spun out of Kastner’s desire to keep his sanity while on the job hunt a few years ago. And after about three months of publishing his sketches, 20 or so people started contributing their work, as well. The next thing Kastner knew, he was helping hang up drawings in a Cleveland gallery.
Germond wanted to replicate the show here in the Hub. Formerly “apathetic” about basketball, Germond says she grew interested in it through the art.
To Schindelar, it’s “not so weird that sports would be represented in an artistic way.” Growing up, the first poster a child is often seen tacking up is sports-related, whether it be Michael Jordan flying from the foul line or a framed photo of Fenway Park.
To catch an early glimpse, artist Aaron Dana painted Voltage’s first mural (above), which takes over an entire corner of the space and is sure to drum up conversation–conversation Schindelar says they have been trying to foster at Voltage since opening their doors in 2010.
Alongside Voltage Owner Lucy Valena, Schindelar acknowledges they wanted to create a shop that dealt with coffee and art because they believe “when you involve coffee and conversation, you can get some creative ideas out of that environment.” The goal has always been to get customers talking while waiting in line for their coffee, and that’s the role Voltage’s artwork has taken on.
“[Double Scribble] is an interesting thing to bring to Voltage and to Boston–such a sports-oriented city,” Schindelar says. “It’s bringing in a whole group that wouldn’t necessarily go to an art show.”
The show’s opening reception, originally scheduled for last Friday, was postponed to April 26. Grillo’s Pickles and Downeast Cider will be on hand providing food and beverages from 7-9 p.m. Robb Harskamp will be raffling off his NBA Slam Dunk Contest poster, among other prizes, and Somerville DJ Big Digits will be spinning the tunes.
Voltage is donating all proceeds from art sales now through the day of the event to The One Fund to support those affected by the Boston Marathon bombings.
The opening show is currently sold out, but those interested in attending are encouraged to put their name on the waitlist. A $5 donation is suggested at the door, which will all go to support Shooting Touch, a local nonprofit that coaches, educates and mentors youths around the world by using the platform of basketball.
“In the Paint” will be running at Voltage up until May 18th. For a look at what you can expect to see, check out the photos below.