One year ago, Arcata received a significant arts injection via Victor Hernandez's the Humboldt Arts Project. Since then the project has featured seven Arts!Arcata exhibits and, more impressively, initiated the successful two-day Humboldt Arts Festival drawing thousands of people out to what is evolving into the I Street art corridor. All in all, over 500 local artists had a chance to show off their work thanks to The Humboldt Arts Project -- an exponential increase in A-town art traffic.
To celebrate, the Humboldt Arts Project is throwing another party. Or, more accurately, four simultaneous parties: Ironside Gallery, the Robert Goodman Good Taste wine tasting room, Humboldt Brews and the Jambalaya, all during Friday, Nov. 12's Arts!Arcata, 6 to 9 p.m.
There will be samba.
HAP creator, organizer and gentle curator Victor "Vico" Hernandez answered a few questions on what's worked and what makes it all worthwhile.
What goals have you achieved with the Humboldt Arts Project over the past year and what goals do you hope to achieve over the next?
I think that one the most important goals I've achieved with the HAP has been the ability to bring together artists in our community in a common cause to enrich our community through the sharing of our art. I may not be around forever, and I understand the importance the existence of such an organization. Therefore, I hope to be able to establish the HAP as a nonprofit so that it can exist once I am gone, as an independent entity with the support of the community.
Any artist success stories directly attributable to HAP? For example, anyone "discovered" through being part of HAP? Gone on to sell work or show in galleries?.
I know of a few artists whom have gone from showing their first time at the HAP to now showing in places like the Accident Gallery.
Do you see the public enjoying the art or the party more? Thoughts on that?
I believe that the public is definitely drawn by the party, but once they step a foot in the gallery they truly come to appreciate the value of the exhibit. It has been a key to create a balanced enviroment that has the energy of a party, but also create a space where people can get lost in the art that is beign exhibited.
Running HAP is obviously a huge amount of work. What makes it worth doing?
The art, the people, the community. I have come to realize that the greatest payment for my work has been the human connections that I have made with other artists, local businesses and the general public. I have made many new friends in the process. I have been inspired by many of them. Although there have been times when I have felt overwhelmed, it always makes it worth it when I see the public come to our events and share with us the love for human life, art and creativity.