24 hours of artsy teenagers makes a 24-year-old feel like the unpopular prom chaperon. "Don't Sleep On It" challenged teens ages 15-19 to an Art-a-Whirl all-nighter of painting, music and caffeinated-craziness in the California building in Northeast. The party started with a blank canvas and enough white space to drive any artist wild with ideas. There were cardboard forts and cardboard fights, curse words, lots of soda, a full snack table (including Fruit-by-the-Foot and vanilla wafers) and paint splattered on every article of clothing. Curfews were passed and creative kids of the Twin Cities proved to be cooler than any of the adults downtown.
Throughout the night and into early morning, eight groups of artists were brought in to rouse the masses and instigate the next direction of the project. Artists included Burlesque Design, Erik Burke, Mike Fitzsimmons, Andy Duett, John Grider, Hardland/Heartland, Liz Miller, Kristina Mooney, Chris Pennington, Brett Smith, Erin Smith and Scott Stulen. The marathon was presented by the Walker Art Center Teen Arts Council and mnartists.org.
Kids dressed in hipster-attire swarmed the busy room, music blasting and paint splattering. Flirting was out of control and everyone was bonding with strangers. Socializing without booze? It's hard to remember a time when the flask wasn't making a surprise appearance in someone's backpack, but these kids seemed hyper enough without the gin in their juice.
Bands and DJs came in between artists, including hip-hop genius P.O.S. The room buzzed with excitement as the sound system was set up mid-room. The cardboard playground had just been destroyed, stomped and completely demolished, but black paint was the next order of business and everyone grabbed a brush.
These glam-metal fans took a break from work and indulged in the treat bar. Can't say I didn't snag a chip or two myself.
A time-lapse of the evening's creative doings: