Local Artist Check-in: Brian Wimer and the IX Art Park

Posted on June 25, 2014 by

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Local artists of all mediums are reaching to Kickstarter as a means to gain momentum for expanding their creative ideas and work. In Cville’s art scene, locals like film maker and IX Art Park purveyor Brian Wimer have a “why wait?” and “dream big” mentality when it comes to art.

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Photo credit: Elizabeth Casey

In just six months, Wimer has managed to cover the IX Park in murals, sculptures, and various spaces for people and interactions, and he isn’t done yet. Wimer and partners have visions of the IX Art Park being a space that is to be used and interacted with by the people of Charlottesville and beyond. Wimer asks questions like, “what could happen if…?” and believes in endless possibilities as to what the Art Park could mean for the future of the Charlottesville art scene.

With the IX Art Park, Wimer envisions community interactions, appreciation for local art, bringing out the artist in everyone, and a collaboration between different artists and art lovers.

Courtesy of IX Art Park Facebook

Courtesy of IX Art Park Facebook

Whether you’ve been to the IX Art Park yet or not, you are sure to interact with it sometime in the near future as plans are gearing up for new events and installations. Stay tuned for additions to Pollock’s Path, a tire dinosaur sculpture made possible by donations from Fitzgerald Tires, a concrete slide, and a possible new programming of events including concerts, artist led workshops, roller-rink disco nights, and bike-in movie nights.

Photo credit: Elizabeth Casey

Photo credit: Elizabeth Casey

Wimer is also working on filling the indoor warehouse with affordable gallery spaces for local artists, which will hopefully attract some out-of-town artists too. Currently, the IX Art Park has monthly “Fleaville” flea markets and school field trips and curriculum which is partnered with Pollock’s Path.

The IX Art Park exceeded it’s $20,000 Kickstarter fundraising goal, but as Brian explains, in order for more installations and programming plans to come to life, more money and volunteers are needed in order to create and maintain the Art Park for the benefit of our community.

So, what can you do to make sure this project thrives? Volunteer ideas and encourage your friends and fellow artists to get involved; you don’t want to miss out on this community collaboration and the future possibilities!

Brian Wimer

Brian Wimer working on the IX Art Park

Q&A with Brian Wimer

Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from? How did you get involved with The IX Arts Park?

I’m a former NY ad creative. So I have a lot of bad karma to undo. Advertising is about manipulating culture, in the service of selling things. It’s also sowing discontent. Discontent leads to purchases. Now, I’m applying my creative skills in the service of community. Promoting contentment. Contentment leads to open-mindedness and possibility. That’s where art comes in. Create a space for possibility. And dreams.

When and why did you start making art? What mediums have you worked with, or particularly enjoy?

I’ve been a filmmaker now for nine years. I’ve made four feature films, countless music videos, and some art house horror, which tweaks the genre and hopefully makes people think a little. Argento kind of stuff. Although, I’ve been leaning toward Jodorosky pseudo-religious freak fests; iconoclastic imagery and irreverent symbolism.

I don’t like to play by the rules and I like to recreate the things that inhabit your dreams. Dreams are big. Our motto at the IX Art Park is “Dream Big.” What we’re doing there is a lot like independent film. Maximizing a limited budget to create an experience that combines scenery, music, choreography and a script of sorts as we inform park visitors how to (mis)behave in this unusual setting.

art park people

The IX Arts Park is a fairly new addition to Charlottesville. What makes it a unique space for art?

It’s Pepperland, or Oz, or Narnia; if you go for that sort of thing. It’s a place unlike anywhere else. It’s not a Rodin sculpture garden where you go to stroke your chin. It’s a place to participate; to activate; to ruminate. Where else can you find a piano staircase, a walkable maze, a giant bird nest, and the iron head of Zeus?

What are some highlights of the not-so-distant future of the IX Arts Park in terms of additions and events?

Events are really the lifeblood of the park so we’re programming weekly, monthly, and annually. MIX is an art party every Wednesday at Al Hammra, the Moroccan restaurant at IX, where we’ll be doing things like Drink & Draw nights and invite speakers; a Parisian salon kind of thing without the attitude. We’ll also have makers fairs, food festivals, and concerts in the warehouse. Right now we’re planning the CHIX Medusapaloosa with five all-girl rock bands. Anything is possible.

How can we get more involved with The IX Arts Park and its cultivation?

Find the IX Art Park on Facebook. Soon we’ll have a mailing list to let people know what’s going on there every week. Got a project? Email me directly at brian@amoebafilms.tv. Want to volunteer? You can also email us at dreamcharlottesville@gmail.com. Or, you can support us with a donation at ixartpark.weebly.com.

Favorite place in Cville to… be creative?

IX Art Park, obviously.

Favorite place in Cville to… see art?

Virginia Film Festival

Favorite place in Cville to… grab a bite?

Mas Tapas or Mona Lisa Pasta

Favorite place in Cville to… get a drink?

The Alley Light (favorite bartender Sarah Daley)

Any other Cville favorites?

The Bridge PAI is doing great community art projects.

Lastly…Describe The IX Arts Park in 10 syllables or less.

Dream Big.

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