Arts & Life, Events

Long Beach gets PUMPed up

“PUMP,” a city-wide multi-sensory arts festival, began this weekend to highlight culture and creativity by featuring art for your eyes, hands and ears too.

The festival takes place at a number of locations throughout the city, varying from the Packard Building, East Village Arts Park, Work Evolution Laboratories, The Collaborative and other non-traditional spaces within Long Beach.

Over 50 new and upcoming artists from Southern California will be showcasing their work in the festival. Art work including exhibitions, installations and interactive performances that allow the public to hear, touch, taste, see, smell and connect with the pieces.

“We really wanted to develop something that would make Long Beach stand out artistically, earning the recognition it deserves as a city that loves & produces unique, forward thinking art,” said Kamran Assadi, a member of FLOOD, the artist group that organized the festival.

The artist association is local to Long Beach and was established in 2002. According to its website, the group, “desires to raise awareness as well engender appreciation for new and emergent art.”

Public Urban Multisensory Presentations is a collection of exhibits, performances and and presentations that operate as a channel for multi-sensory experiences and gives people the opportunity to encounter them, according to their website. The exhibits aim to isolate or link senses while also challenging the ways individuals perceive art.

The event began Saturday, and guests were able to experience the various art pieces from 5 to 10 p.m. at the three opening reception locations.

Cal State Long Beach alumnus Annette Heully was one of many artists featured at the Packard Building this past weekend, with her sculpture ensemble, “Interconnected.” The piece is made of knotless netting and waxed linen shaped to resemble the intimacy of human nature and how the body changes over time.

“A connection I was thinking about while looking at people’s work was the traces of people and places,” Heully said. “That’s a big part of what my piece is about.”

At the Artist Co-Op Gallery and Studios in East Long Beach, guests are able to experience “Timbre/Timber,” an immersive multimedia installation which was created by Jennifer Gunlock, Katie Stubblefield and Hilary Norcliffe. The goal of their piece was to allow guests to consider their connection with the natural environment through interactive sculptures, videos and textured drawings.

There are also performances at The Ice House in West Long Beach by artist Takeshi Kanemura, whose performance “Melt in Your Mouth” consists of Kanemura wrapping a person in a plastic sheet, then skillfully cutting them out of the plastic in a way that is soothing both visually and audibly. Throughout the performance, vocalist Chris Law and 14-year-old cellist Mei Hotta will provide music.

PUMP provides something for every person to enjoy, whether it be through a visual performance, an art gallery or a musical show.

The event will continue through Oct. 21. All exhibitions and events will be free, however parking fees may apply at some locations.

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