This Friday, a city of storage containers will appear in an empty lot in Wicker Park, and Built Festival will kick off a weekend of experimental art in a highly unusual venue. The storage containers will provide a gallery space to over 100 independent artists working in the theme of urban culture. “It’s a refreshing dip outside of societal norms,” says Tristan Hummel, creator of Built Festival. “We’re making a microcosm of Chicago, an exploration of Chicago.” That exploration is deliberately open and relaxed, as audiences will have the opportunity to enjoy a beer and interact with the art much more closely than galleries usually allow.
This is Built Festival’s first year, and Hummel sees it as a venue for artists to produce without a direct economic goal in mind. He hopes, of course, that artists seen at the festival will receive further opportunities because of their participation, but the primary idea behind Built is that the art shown will be whatever the artist truly wanted to make. To produce the most interesting festival with this goal in mind, he looked for artists “passionate beyond any critique” interested in encouraging comfortable interaction between art, artist and attendee.
For those who choose to attend on Saturday, Hummel recommends coming at 4pm, when the doors will be opened for the last hour of the artists’ preparations. Those who would like a behind-the-scenes look at the festival will also be able to take advantage of free beer, provided by a local microbrewery. (Erin Kelsey)
Built Festival runs August 12 from 5pm-10:30pm and August 13 from noon-10:30pm. builtforart.com.