This Saturday is Create:Fixate’s I ART YOU soiree celebrating their 10 year anniversary. It’s hard to believe a decade has gone by, but then again it feels like yesterday when they first started to lay the foundations of their fruitful playground. Create:Fixate has become a fixture in the emerging art world with their bi-monthly art and musical showcases. There is always a lot to take in when you enter a Create:Fixate space… curated rooms and outdoor backdrops form the stage for a variety of visual and performance art, immersed in the sounds of LA’s most groundbreaking electronic music. Their network of charitable and outreach programs has also been incorporated into the line up for those rich in passion but falling short on funds. One thing is for sure, C:F has been the center stage for upcoming artists, passionate about changing our perception of art for the last 10 years, and there is no stopping them now.
WELO meets with founder Michelle Berc on her 10 year transformational process of the Los Angeles art and music community.
WELO: Since many artist reside in Venice, WELO Venice wanted to extend a big congratulations on your 10 year anniversary.
How does it feel?
MB: Thank You! It definitely feels like a major accomplishment and then I think where did all the time go? Create:Fixate has a true grassroots beginning and it’s always been a journey through our multiple stages of growth. We’ve learned so much over the years and I strongly feel we are ready to really fly as we enter into a new era as a nonprofit arts organization.
WELO: What has changed artistically since the start of C:F? Is there something more artist are gravitating towards these days?
MB: We’ve always been known to mash it up both artistically and musically with the curation of each show, so it’s hard to say if artists are gravitating towards any one thing. But I do think the art world has become more open to non-traditional mediums. I also think the LA art community is stronger than ever and it’s because artists like myself started creating our own opportunities rather than relying on the traditional gallery system.
WELO: I remember the earlier years and the loft parties. Did C:F start out as a solo project or perhaps an idea you had over night? Also, When did the transition of it’s success happen? Do you recall that moment or year when you felt established in the Art/Music community?
MB: C:F started from my yearning to exhibit my own art along with wanting a more festive environment to explore creativity. I always had a DJ at my first few art shows. In fact, Andrea Graham who is our music coordinator was that DJ. We were both very much into art and music. I knew when I moved into the loft downtown that I had to take advantage of the space so we gathered our artist and DJ friends and together with our neighbors we opened up our building and had our first art party. It was a hit from the beginning. Everywhere I went people were asking me “When’s the next one?” so I guess the pressure was on… But it was the good kind of pressure. By the third Create:Fixate we had hundreds of people lined up outside our building wanting to get in. I had to look into getting proper event permits and purchase our first credit card machine to handle art sales (so this might have been my first moment of feeling that “Arrival” state of mind). It all happened so fast and I really don’t think I understood it all as I was always running to keep up with this thing I created called Create:Fixate. Sometimes I call it a beast… But it’s a beautiful beast! For many years we were moving so fast trying to do quite a bit for the community with very little resources. There came a point when I had to pull back the reigns and give this beautiful beast some structure if we were going to have any kind of sustainability.
WELO: What are you the most proud of?
MB: The opportunities that have come to be for many artists because of C:F. I’m proud to give an artist their first show and help sell their first art piece. The same goes for turning our patrons into art collectors. Many have bought their first piece of art ever at C:F. Most recently I’m proud of how we work in themes into each show to add a philosophical aspect. Lastly, the community out reach to at-risk youth is near and dear to my heart. I love to inspire people, it’s in my blood. Whether an emerging artist or a child learning to find their voice through creativity, it brings me so much joy to guide people through their artistic discoveries.
WELO: C:F not only explores art but electronic music. Do you feel you had a part in the way the electronica subculture has resurfaced into the mainstream radar? How do you feel about electronic music these days?
MB: I think the path that electronic music has carved has been a very natural progression just like the history of other musical genres. Electronic music cannot be stopped… It is endless because of technology and because of this it will forever be evolving as new sounds are created and electronic music styles merge. Currently it seems like there are a gazillion subgenres.. Culture is a living and breathing energy that we subconsciously gravitate and evolve with. There will always be forward thinkers or for better words taste makers that will take lead on introducing new music, art, sports, or any other lifestyle to the greater public. There are the innovators (aka the creators) and then there are the patrons or explorers that want to be stimulated or inspired. We can’t take full credit but I know we contribute to the flow of current culture.
MB: I am finally looking forward to pursuing a permanent space…. But I don’t just want a gallery… I see a building with art studios, a gallery, a social space with class rooms for workshops and kids programming… A space that welcomes collaboration from all creative directions. A space where the most current cultural energy thrives.
WELO: We are looking forward to your next evolution. Congrats on the 10 year ride, I look forward to I ART YOU (appropriately themed).
MB: Thank you for your patronage… I do it for you and the rest of Los Angeles.
For more information & more on their 10 yr soiree this Saturday, check out their website & celebration page below:
I ART YOU 10 year celebration page.