A Look Inside Artopia 2014: The Year's Biggest, Rowdiest Art Party

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Each year we at the Dallas Observer like to get a little rowdy. We reach deep into Dallas culture and pull out the trend makers, the game changers and the party starters. We find the most interesting names in fashion, dance, art and music. Then we take over a venue, invite them over, and call the night Artopia.

This year's Artopia happens on January 18 at Three Three Three First Ave., a revamped 1926 industrial building offering some of the city's most stunning panoramic views. Not that you'll be looking outside. The two-story interior space is perfectly packed with clothing designers LeVenity, Mario Alberto, Rochelle Rodriguez and Tracy Popken working shifts on the Fashion Stage, where models are set loose on the catwalk while projections, live painting and percussion acts invigorate the rest of your senses.

We have the Danielle Georgiou Dance Group, ISHI, DJ Sober and the magic of Confetti Eddie with the Lovely Karleena holding your fascination on the second stage.

Filling in the remaining space are food sampling stations, pop-up bars, art collective Sour Grapes doing graffiti on a FIAT, a giant Lite Bright by Alexander DiJulio, poster printing by Lunch Buddies, interactive Air Graffiti so you can tag a wall with LEDs, and live painting by David Rodriguez and his crew.

My favorite part of the night, and what really sets the Observer party apart, is the Mastermind Awards presentation. That's where I hand $1,000 checks out to six different local artists who have improved Dallas through their work. The grants are our way of directly supporting our local art scene and celebrating the people who make it so vibrant. We even give the winners their own gallery space at Artopia so everyone can see what makes them special.

Celebrate the best of Dallas art with us on January 18. General admission includes food and cocktails, because we love you. VIP has all of that plus a private bar, a special catered spread and complimentary valet. Get those tickets here.

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

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Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.