A wave of white plastic and metal greets the eye at the Appliance Liquidation Outlet, located at 500 Carolina St. To the naked eye, this industrial warehouse advertising the largest selection of scratch and dent appliances in the city is an odd location for a massive arts and music festival.
To the sponsors at Content Under Pressure (CUP) 2014, the warehouse looks perfect. It has enough wall space to exhibit more than 60 artists while leaving plenty of room for other parts of the festival. Music, art, dance, and BMX competitions – CUP has always been about more than spray paint. It’s aerosol art. It’s street art culture coming together in one warehouse on the near Eastside.
The CUP challenge started in 2012 to help showcase aerosol production across the nation. The event continued at The Paint Yard store while at its San Pedro location. However, this year sparks new growth for the festival.
“TPY (The Paint Yard) wanted to expand all the elements for all age groups and decided to go in the direction of all forms of art, entertainment, and music, at the same time working with other groups and organizations as part of CUP,” stated a CUP press release.
The festival continues to highlight local aerosol artist legends like Nik Soupe. But the urban mecca of Los Angeles also is making a contribution, with Kyle William Harper returning after a 2012 appearance.
The Current describes Harper’s work as a “collage-like array of American cartoon imagery.”
He spent years traveling the world following the Grateful Dead tour as an extreme ‘Deadhead,’ and used those road skills and time in skater culture to find respect as a fine artist in L.A., and has gone on to curate shows in Berlin and Hollywood,” wrote Scott Andrews.
Harper will not be alone. Other LA artists that will be joining him are Bleep Blop and Asylm.
The list of Texas artists also is growing rapidly by the day. Vicco, Syph, Aver, and Bware are from the Dallas and Fort Worth area. Roshi K, Man With Pencil, Grimm, Evil Dave, Cody Schibi are traveling from the Austin area. And that’s not including the Houston artists (Sode, Hostal, Flipparachi, Cease) who will make the three-hour trek down IH-10.
While the CUP challenge grows from its original Paint Yard location, it is partnering with the other sponsors like Pabst Blue Ribbon, Lone Star Beer, GLI Distributing, the San Antonio Current, Montana, Lazy Daze Counterculture, Valspar Paint and Tha1Radio.
Among the other artists on the scene will be the Beyond the Canvas crew, showcasing live body painting.
Soupe noted the importance of art organizations coming together, not only for the benefit of the event, but also for the individual growth of the artists.
“It is always important to show these (aerosol) artists that there is more than one medium out there,” said Soupe, who also noted that he first learned to paint with a brush before he converted to his aerosol artform. “That technique helped contribute to the style of artwork and the shading techniques that I use now while painting.”
The expansion of CUP does not just help the artists. This year’s effort will bring together different elements of hip-hop culture that appeal to a vast array of age groups while highlighting turntablism and Bboying.
The 2014 musician list is a local who’s who of independent artists, ranging from rapper and local Mr. Composition, Chisme, the barrio big band Bombasta, and Black Note Records. That’s just the Saturday lineup.
On Sunday, Flipside, Rabbit in Owl, Billy Rae Sheppard, and Chicano neo-soul band Villela close the festival. The live music portion of the festival kicks off Saturday at 4 p.m. until 11 p.m. and gears up again on Sunday from 2 p.m. until 8 p.m.
Along with the live music selection, audiences can expect to see showcases from several dance crews from around Texas, with styles ranging from Bboys, Krumpers, and Funk. For those interested in learning, workshops will be held on Saturday from noon until 3 p.m. These workshops lead up to the two-on-two and one-on-one dance battles at 4 p.m.
The festival does not end there. Brandon Hopkins, touring with the Cartoon Network, will have several ramps and showcases throughout the weekend. A local BMX organizer, Diego Tejada, will host the BMX Flatland Competition on Sunday.
Tickets for Saturday and Sunday are $7. Children 12 and under are free. Friday is a free day for everyone courtesy of Lazy Daze Counterculture starting at 6 p.m. An outdoor stage will host bands and DJS. There will be face painting for all ages and live art courtesy of the The Paint Yard. Click here for the full lineup and schedule.
Rivard Report contributor Kay Richter contributed to this article.
*Featured/top image: Aerosol art graces the wall of the Appliance Liquidation Outlet. The warehouse hosted another local festival in April 2014 known as Clogged Caps 9. Photo by Kay Richter.