BY LAURA KRUG
On Thursday evening, the 1010 Main Street gallery was an exciting place to be as it had been transformed into a hub of artists exchanging ideas against the backdrop of live music by the Paseo art collective. Fort Hays students Rayvon Lewis and Tessa Kriss make up the creative group Paseo, and both are majoring in fine art and graphic design.
They curated the show’s work from fellow classmates in the art and design program at FHSU and included an open mic performance. With two previous shows in 2019, the Paseo’s third show, N°3, proved not only to be a success but also a movement that is gaining momentum in the Hays art community.
The show’s goal is to bring a diverse group of visual and performing artists together for a night to celebrate creativity.
“The main thing we want to show is that art and music can really bring people together. Talent is always appreciated and we make sure the artists that submit artwork are recognized.” Rayvon Lewis said.
With two previous shows under their belt, the group wanted to make a statement with the third show, the first of 2020.
“The idea of No 3 came from Chanel No 5. Chanel No 5 is defined as a classic now and forever fragrance, which is what we are creating out of Paseo, a now and forever platform.” Tessa Kriss said.
The meaning of Paseo also has 3 interpretations: Unity, Community, and Change. Lewis and Kriss are in their final semester of the graphic design program.
“This semester was pretty challenging— due to the fact that we are also prepping for the senior art show which will take place the following week. We chose to squeeze in another show since we aren’t sure if we will have one in March.” Lewis said.
The group knew what to expect from the demands of organizing a show and were satisfied with the outcome. The turnout to the show packed the studio space throughout the night.
The night’s main performance was the open mic, which allowed performers, musicians, and poets to showcase their work.
“The open mic can really bring people out of their comfort zone; even if someone happened to stumble their words on stage, people still show love and support. It’s really all about bringing people together.” Lewis said.
Matty Perkins, also known as “Matty P” is a recent 2019 masters graduate in Sports Administration from FHSU, who recited his poetry several times at the event.
The Paseo has been his first experience performing in front of an audience; the feeling of recognition and being relatable to the audience keeps him coming back.
“I grew up with a stuttering problem, but when I get on stage that all changes. I love able to overcome my own challenges and get on stage.” Perkins said.
His poems focus on speaking up about relationships and hardships in life. Perkins is influenced by R and B music that he grew up listening to. His passions include creating relationships and sharing creative ideas and getting to be a role model as a coach. Perkins was grateful to be at the Paseo show.
“I don’t get many opportunities to share my art with other creatives. It means a lot.” Perkins said.
The Paseo has success in their Hays community art shows with new art and new faces turning out for each show. The group is hopeful for the future continuation of the event and building of artistic presence in Hays.