Utopia was a huge success on a scale of creative liberation. Friends gathered to share artwork, performance, poetry, music, dance, video, live painting, and a strong sense of community and love. The newly renovated Cameo Art Gallery (behind the Lovin’ Cup Cafe in Williamsburg, Brooklyn) provided the perfect venue for the omni-media art event.
Curated and hung by artist Atalay Harrison, the walls beamed with–mostly debut–expressions of Utopia. Brendan McCarthy’s installation “La Foret Rose” created a magical indoor forest of pink trees for people to play in and explore.
DJ Coverboy opened up the night with funky beats. Christos Mountzouros’ group nest+rest played painfully beautiful songs while Zach Fisher painted Christos’ all-white attire and body. Zach followed up their set with a poignant yet uplifting poem.
Dangeroo Duo took us on a psychedelic rock odyssey, and was later joined by jazz singer Alex Nelson.
Bad Brilliance and Suspicious Package presented their collaborative bio-pop music video “Hummingbird,” followed by a behind-the-scenes montage. Ashlynn Manning of Suspicious Package gave us a special treat with an acapella performance of their upcoming single “Bird of Prey.”
Toby Dick rocked the stage and then created a painting live. Hayley Sunshine, Kayli Szczepankiewicz, and Kelsey Emmett performed an original dance called “Align,” and then Hayley and Kayli did a quick costume change to become the Back-It-Up Dancers for Planet Rump’s set.
After Planet Rump tore the roof of the mutha, Yer Boyfriend’s Band Sux took the stage for a late-night performance art piece featuring a ghost playing the mandola and a roll of plastic wrap that ended up tying the entire audience in a convoluted web. Magick Report took us home with bumping beats and funky synths. DJ Lorant held it down between sets.
The theme of the night made for an overwhelming feeling of acceptance and love among the audience and artists. People were riding the high of the event for days to come, and another installment of Utopia is in the works for late winter. Stay tuned, rumpateers: this is just the beginning.