It's a rowdy scene for a novice to enter, but as I walked up the ramp leading into Art Con 8, I got excited.
Of course I did: The warehouse was reconfigured with stages, interactive drawing boards, auction realms, a bar and a main performance platform for the bands. Each of those areas was surrounded by hundreds of people, hankerin' for a piece of what was being offered. See Also: The People of Art Con 8, A Slideshow See Also: From Humble Beginnings, Art Con's Back. Get Ready to Rock the Warehouse.
A surprise addition to the musical line-up, a band from Girls Rock Dallas kicked off the showcase, gaving us a look at why the co-beneficiary organization is so valuable. The night's technical issues hadn't been fully unkinked when the girls took the microphone, so the tiny humans performing were forced to deal with real life opening act difficulties. But when you're a young girl practicing in your bedroom mirror or garage, the idea that things won't go perfectly doesn't factor into your predictive mindset. How could it? You're awesome. Invincible. Ready to rock. Visibly shaken, the band paused, then the drummer crept out from behind her kit to give the lead singer a supportive hug. It was adorable, touching and a guarantee that if anyone didn't know about Girls Rock Dallas before Saturday night, they do now.
The bidding was engagingly frantic. You could build a reality television show around simply that premise and people would tune in, especially if focusing on the night's later auctions where a boozed up crowd got much looser with their monetary pledges. Pieces in that series went for a steady six or seven hundred a pop, selling to a group that was ravenous for homegrown art.
Still, Art Con's greatest strength lies in its ability to unite so many varied factions from the Dallas art scene. As I waited in line to buy my ticket, I eavesdropped on the polished group ahead of me. They wore suits and were discussing their plans to jet down to Basel, but "only for Saturday" or "just to catch that party on Sunday." Inside the gate, I watched as a dreadlocked couple embraced. Neighborhood lines dissolve when everyone shows up to the same party, united by a feeling that their presence matters. (Those same suits were also seen rushing to help a volunteer load bags of ice out of a temporarily parked car.)
It was a great night for do-gooding, and when Art Con finishes its final number-crunch, we'll let you know how far your contribution went. Until then, here's a handful of our favorite photos of the night, thanks to photographer Danny Hurley.