P.M.-Dawn: Pancakes & Booze Art Show at Strongwater

Erica Thompson

When I was growing up, my family listened to countless vinyl, cassette tape and CD albums of artists from myriad eras. We watched movies on catalogued VHS tapes that easily numbered 300, and I probably checked out hundreds of young-adult fiction books from the Mount Healthy branch of the Cincinnati public library.

What my family and I didn't do was collect or talk about paintings and sculptures, and I didn't pursue an interest in those art forms beyond childhood. So an art event that combines carbs and alcohol is a brilliant idea for a person like me, who might choose to go to a concert or a stage play before visiting an art gallery.

The Columbus Pancakes & Booze Art Show took place at Strongwater Food and Spirits on a recent Friday, and it was a fun experience. The artwork on display included paintings, photography and apparel at vendors' tables. Artists came from all over Ohio — I think I met more from Cincinnati than Columbus. I was also delighted to see quite a few artists of color featured.

This should come as no surprise, but my favorite painting of the night was a piece based on one of those movies I watched multiple times as a child — “House Party.” Taliaferro Sebastian created a vibrant rendition of actor/rappers Kid ‘n Play in the midst of arguably one of the most popular dance scenes in movie history. I also appreciated the photo of Downtown Cincinnati by Donnie Quillen, and Re'Chelle Snow's “penny fro” paintings featuring black hairstyles constructed with actual pennies.

The blueberry, strawberry and chocolate chip pancakes, made onsite by a team of friendly volunteers, were delicious. The Aperol Spritz cocktail I ordered was a great choice to balance the sweetness of the food.

I had two run-ins that demonstrate the positive and negative sides of living in a city with a community of active artists that isn't too big: Having a pleasant conversation with people I know from Creative Control Fest and dodging a guy I went on a semi-date with.

Music was provided by DJ MC Jinx, but no one really danced — except for a guy wearing a Flashwear shirt that lights up in response to sound. I asked him about the technology and we ended up hanging out for the rest of the night. His dancing was impressive, and I would've joined in, but the setting was a little too intimate to avoid feeling on display like the paintings and pictures.

I really wished I could afford that “House Party” painting, and I noticed that price — for art, in general — was a concern for other attendees, excluding prints. When I finally do have the money, I'm looking forward to starting a tradition of collecting art with my future family.