Do You Remember UrboSleeks?

James Van Way III, Brett Chigoy, Ryan DeJean & Jaik Faulk

A group show of artists who came up during the mid-late 90’s in the Lafayette music and arts scene.

It was deep in the planning of this show that I heard about the passing of UrboSleeks own Brian Fruge. I hesitated a second wondering if this was the right time to put on a show about this music scene of which the UrboSleeks and Brian had played such a large part. Perhaps a later date would be better or change the title and focus.

But..Hell, I had the title already and it was a good title and I figured that it was in fact a perfect time to have an exhibition calling attention to the impact these bands have had on my own creative practice and that of many others in this town. I’ve got to send out a “thank you” now while these artists and musicians can hear it and not miss an opportunity to affect a change in this community.

In the mid-late 90’s bands like Rare Avis, UrboSleeks and Frigg-a-go-go had a creative approach to their music that ran counter to anything else I had experienced as a young man, this was indicative of the Lafayette music scene as a whole. Pretty quickly I was hooked and I soaked in the influence. It seemed a rare collaborative mood was in the air facilitated by generosity between bands and artists and things were made in an effortless and quick manner. There was a handmade quality to venues like The PussyCat Shak and The Rinky Dink that has informed my tastes of art and curation. Though rough around the edges, there was a sentiment of innocence and intimacy that was profound and at each new creation of art and music, the game was enriched.

Today Ryan DeJean has taken a lead role in crafting our contemporary music scene with his Sickbay umbrella of curation, promotion and recording. His photos here are moments of surprising discovery within our rich neighborhoods, they are exactly what I missed about Freetown, Fightinville and the Saint’s Streets. Yet it is the same beauty I have discovered in many other streets outside of Lafayette.

Brett Chigoy and I have known each other for a quite a while, he is an artist who puts care and precision into his process. His attention to the working qualities of various materials is impeccable. He’s a rare artist’s artist and I feel he’s got two of the best eyes in Lafayette and an asset to this community’s artists’ practices.

James Van Way III has been an artist and a musician in this scene for a long time and has a fearless approach to making art. His gestures defy the static quality in painting and his color choices are bleeding edge 21 st century goodness. I could not have done this show without his generous efforts and I am forever in his debt for the initiative he took in piecing this thing together.

So Thank You James, Ryan and Brett! And Thank you Brian Fruge, UrboSleeks and all the lovely folks who make this community as rad as it is. Spread the gratitude and love around to those you know.