Walking up to Austin’s CTC Garden, you’re invited by an atmosphere that is immediately both comforting and stimulating. The music, greenery, lights and laughs have made a cozy bed in this open-air venue. It’s a funky space, succulent-filled with happy colors, and it was the perfect complement to Slideluck Potshow Austin IV.
Austin’s fourth Slideluck oozed a liveliness different from years past. It even lured passersby who were interested enough to join the party. In the end, some 250 people enjoyed the food, sounds, camaraderie, beer and amazing photographic work on Saturday night.
Old friends caught up, new faces met other new faces, and everyone ate. And we ate it all. SLPS-inspired lasagna. Maple-glazed bacon-covered brussels sprouts. Onion and sun-dried tomato tart. Cookies with dotted with mini peanut butter cups. And to wash it all down, we crushed 350 cans of ice-cold Brooklyn Lager.
It was clear from the beginning of the night that the following few hours were going to be kick-ass. Everyone walked in with a smile — not surprising since Austin is made for friendly greetings and compassionate people.
There was an almost immediate calm once the first piece started. Austin artists clearly respect each other. Curated by Alison Zavos of Feature Shoot, the slide show highlighted 20+ artists, nearly all of which are locally based, their subjects ranging from art pieces to truck drivers, party goers to football players. The entire show exhibited a delicate and fresh balance of sincerity, intrigue and whimsy.
Rather than taking a real “break” for intermission, we further ramped up the group with some sweet raffle prizes, mostly thanks to Austin newbie Lomography. Sure, we had beginning moments of cricket-chirping silence to a few of the called-out ticket numbers — raffles can be a little bit awkward. But momentum quickly picked up and we gave out all the goods to eager winners. There wasn’t a roof at CTC, but we definitely raised it! (Zing!)
We wrapped up the second half of the show, enthusiasm still bursting, and easily morphed into an after party with the night’s second DJ spinning out enjoyably fitting tunes. (One couple on the dance floor really enjoyed the tunes.) When the final marshmallow was melted for the last of the s’mores and the 350th can of Brooklyn beer was cracked open, SLPS Austin IV came to a close, people still holding excited smiles.
The fire, space heaters and booze certainly kept us toasty during the night. But it was the positive, supportive energy emanating from the diverse crowd that really kept us warm. (Everyone nearly forgot it was kind of winter outside!)
With a true community spirit keeping the passionate vibe alive all night, Slideluck Potshow Austin IV just further proved the awesomeness of this loving city and the artistic and creative people who make it what it is.