HOUSTON PRESS ARTOPIA

Saturday, January 26, 2013


I recently had the opportunity to speak with Allisen Picos of Houston Press and ask some questions about their event tonight:  The Houston Press Artopia


Where did the idea for Houston Press Artopia originate from?
We wanted to produce an Art event to pay tribute to the local Houston art scene, but couldn't decide on what the focus should be.  Should the event be about visual art , performance art, culinary art, music or the artistic works of fashion designers? We decided not to pick just one and instead have an event that celebrates it all. “A utopia of art” - and Artopia was born. 


How many years as Houston Press put on this went?
This is the 5th annual Artopia. Always held at Winter Street Studios. The venue is divided up into 3 parts which lends itself nicely to the programming. Multiple things can be going on at one time with little to no noise interference.  Also Winter Street Studios hosts Art Studios so it is a familiar location to those in the local art scene. 


What do you hope attendees gain from Artopia?
I want them to have a great time and leave feeling excited to be living in Houston among so much talent and creativity. I think this event could be a real eye opener to someone unfamiliar to local art. The Houston art community is thriving and I want Artopia to be a celebration of Houston’s local creativity and talent.


What different things can guest expect this year from last year?
The musical performances, the fashion shows and the dance performances are always different every year. 

Tell us more about the mastermind awards? Who’s nominated, and how are the winners determined?
Our editorial dept handles most of the MasterMind awards so I got a quote from the Houston Press Editor. 
"The Houston Press gives three MasterMind Awards each January to members of the Houston arts community who have done outstanding work in the past year. We ask for and receive  nominations from the public, but the panel of judges that makes the awards is not limited to those names. The judges, all Press editorial employees, also use their own knowledge of the local arts scene to make the final selections," said Editor Margaret Downing.


Outside of entertainment, what goodies can the guests expect to taste?
Food sampling will be provided by Cajun Stop, Phoenicia Specialty Foods,  Sorrel Urban Bistro, The Counter Burger and a chocolate place called Cacao & Cardamom.  


Can anyone attend the after-party at Hughes?
Yes. The after party is free to everyone. 

Any special events planned for the after-party?
The Artopia theme will continue at the After Party. Entertainment will include an Aerialist and a Fire Dancer. 


The charity beneficiary this year is HoustonPBS? Why was this charity chosen? What is it about HoustonPBS?
We love HoustonPBS  - they are all about local and expanding minds which is exactly what Artopia is about. 

Does the Houston Press choose a different charity every year to benefit from Artopia?
It’s been the same charity for a few years now. Once we find the right partner, we are loyal to them. 


Who at Houston Press are the masterminds behind this event, working on logistics and planning?
The Marketing Dept is a two-person team. I am the Marketing Director and I have a Marketing Manager. We secure the programming, vendors, sponsors, arrange logistics, promote the event to sell tickets, order materials, come up with the artwork, print signage, design the website, update the website, social media  - everything. 


For the two years that I've known about this event its always in January? Is there a special significance to choosing the first month of the year?
Nothing special - just a good time for us in our event calendar. 

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2 comments

  1. LOVED this! great interview and love the pictures :-)

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  2. Great photos. I especially like that "i love you" art piece you showed. I love your hair!

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