ArtRageous lives up to its name; Production is second BCPAC show of the season

Published 3:21 pm Tuesday, September 19, 2023

The Boyle County Performing Arts Center held the second show of its inaugural season Wednesday, bringing an explosion of art for students to participate in.

Wednesday night’s ArtRageous performance was a frenzy of color, movement, and music. Artrageous is a group of live performance artists, singers, recording artists, dancers and audience motivators from New Mexico. Their high energy performance is a combination of different types of arts all on one stage, combined with humor and interaction.

Artists, using hands, brushes, and other objects, made paintings on giant canvases, while the audience tried to guess what each piece would be. Audience members gasped in amazement when they started to recognize the famous figures in the paintings.

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Painters were surrounded by dancers grooving to music by the live singers and musicians. The night’s music ranged from popular hits, classic rock and dance music, to ballads, ethnic-sounding songs, and Artrageous original music.

Attendees got up and sang along to the songs they knew, dancing and throwing beach balls on and off stage. The audience, mainly made up of families, elementary and middle school students, were completely entertained from start to finish.

After visual artists finished a few paintings, they invited attendees of all ages on stage to dance. After beautiful tributes to famous artists, including one to John Lennon, the energy picked right back up with audience motivation and comedy routines.

ArtRageous performers spoke about the importance of creating art, that it can relieve stress, stimulate the brain, and improve mood and confidence. They encouraged people to never stop creating.

The audience got to participate in the arts several times. Just before an intermission, kids enjoyed an ocean-themed dance party on stage where they got to do the Shark Dance.

At the end of the night, the whole audience was invited on stage to interact with the live arts installation created during the show. They got to see the artwork up close, and met members of the ArtRageous group. People also entered online to win the paintings done in the show.

BCPAC Director Jimmy Cornn said the night went extremely well. He said the audience brought such a high energy, and loved interacting with performers.

“It was a little bit of something for everyone, whether it was music or dance or visual art, and the way they transition between, gives a little piece of all that for everyone to have a full artistic experience,” Cornn said.

A good mix of people came to the show, including a student group of about 40 kids from Mercer County, a group of about 30 students from McCreary County, and a healthy number of Boyle County residents from different schools.

ArtRageous also did a matinée performance for Boyle County Schools fifth and sixth graders, which was a 45 minute presentation that included some aspects of the evening performance, but it was mostly different.

The group also taught an Art Reach class for Boyle County Arts Academy students. Cornn is also director of the Arts Academy, and he explained that some shows at the BCPAC come to serve and teach those arts students. The Arts Academy currently has 250 students.

Cornn found the show at a conference last year where venues go to book shows. He talked to some of the ArtRageous performers there, and loved their concept.

“Whenever I’m choosing things for our venue, I try to check off multiple art forms, and there’s not a lot of live visual art in shows, like speed-painting, that doesn’t really exist,” Cornn said.

He also looks for performers that can do matinées for students, and usually do a master class for Arts Academy students. Since the Arts Academy includes all arts, he tries to bring in people who do all types of art, like visual, dance, vocal, theater, etc.

Shows at the BCPAC are not just for students. The season includes performances like Electric Avenue,  a cover band that plays 1980s new wave and radio pop music, “The Nutcracker” and “Frosty – A Musical Adventure” for the Christmas season, and other types of shows throughout the year.

The next show at BCPAC is LightWire theater performing a modern version of “The Tortoise and the Hare” on October 20. The group performs completely in the dark, with people moving light wires to create a story. The 50-minute show is in the style of an old cartoon, with just music and action but no dialogue.

“It’s geared more for elementary-age students, but as a 40-year-old I was completely entertained for the 15-minute snapshot I saw at a conference last year,” Cornn said.

LightWire will do a matinée for third and fourth grade students, and a tech theater master class for Arts Academy students.

People can read more about upcoming shows in an article titled “Boyle County Performing Arts Center announces new season and memberships,” available at amnews.com.

The Boyle County Performing Arts Center is located in the back of Boyle County Middle School at 315 Cunningham Way, Danville.