What happens when you take a bunch of artists and budding entrepreneurs, put them in an old church and give them cocktails? If Tech Wildcatters and ThirstyCanvas are right, you’ll get the next great idea in innovation.
The brainchild of Tech Wildcatters founder Gabriella Draney, Edges and Intersections is a new collaborative effort to bring the art and start-up communities together. The premise is that passions bleed over and help to create stronger ties — and maybe inspire someone to make something nobody has ever seen before.
To get the dialogue started, there is an art show on January 11 at the Wildcatters’ remodeled church on Fairmount Street.
“We see all the time that a major factor in tech ecosystems is a thriving art and music community,” Tech Wildcatters spokesperson Clarisa Lindenmeyer says.
“We see all the time that a major factor in tech ecosystems is a thriving art and music community,” Tech Wildcatters spokesperson Clarisa Lindenmeyer says. “We have a natural interest in seeing that community thrive and collaborating with them.”
Lindenmeyer believes that the art and start-up communities both draw people that push themselves to innovate. Though she takes issues with that word.
“Innovation is a very overused buzzword, and it doesn’t happen because a company mandated it,” she says. “Innovation happens where you don’t expect it, usually.
“When different communities and industries intersect, it happens on the edge of them, not the middle. It’s the collision of tech with arts and what inspires them. That’s the whole point behind this launch party: really celebrating the influence of the arts on tech and vice versa.”
Inside the Uptown church, event-goers will find three floors showcasing five rising start-ups. That part, Tech Wildcatters has covered. For the art, the accelerator brought in Austin McKinney, founder of ThirstyCanvas, to curate the installations. He settled on 20 artists and two musicians that fill the rest of the space.
Every piece of art is for sale, and the entire collection is valued at more than $100,000. McKinney says the artists range from a 15-year-old to more established artists like local painter Megan Van Groll.
McKinney says that artists and tech entrepreneurs have always shared similar mindsets and a symbiotic relationship.
“With a start-up, you have to be kind of crazy and take chances, and that’s something that’s familiar in the art community,” he says. “There’s a codependency between the two as well — like with Photoshop, where you need the dreamer who can see the vision and relay and communicate with techs who can make it work.
“Artists couldn’t make their own paint brushes, so they had to find someone who could.”
Lindenmeyer says the launch party is the beginning of an ongoing series designed to foster community interaction with educational programs as well as outlets for artists and technologists to showcase their works in events and longer exhibitions.
For now, they’re just waiting to get everyone in the same room.