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Art Watch 2/18-2/25 

Tucked away in an industrial neighborhood near SE 9th and Wilson, three local artists/musicians—two of them brothers—are birthing an artistic vision. That dream—of a community space for artists to learn, create, collaborate and share their work—is Dastardly Arts.

Coming to the worktable to build the new space are Paul Chatem, Avery James (A.J.) Graveman (Avery James and the Hillandales) and Johnny Bourbon (Harley Bourbon).

"We wanted to start a space that artists could come to for projects they either didn't have the space, tools or know-how to get done," the trio says in an email (yes, their collaborative approach extends to interviews). "The main inspiration is to make a living through our arts and to pick up new tricks from other artists while having awesome people stopping by to hopefully do the same."

Dastardly Arts opened its doors to the public for the first time last Friday with a soft opening that marks the first of its monthly art shows scheduled for every 13th of the month. The date selection is a nod to the nature of their art, and the artists they'd like to share space with, that is: "The kind of darker, lowbrow art that wouldn't usually be shown in a standard art gallery."

In addition to hanging art at its monthly shows, the group hopes to also host speakers, classes and workspace for artists—much of it on a donation basis.

"Artists are a struggling breed. When it comes to feast or famine we understand that an artist will usually have to sit on the latter," the guys at Dastardly Arts explain. "Due to this, donations are a big part of our survival at Dastardly Arts. Give what you can without taking advantage. Not just monetary though—supplies such as paints, brushes, lumber, tools, etc."

Ultimately, it all comes down to art and community. And Dastardly Arts plans to celebrate that creative nexus full tilt when it breaks with tradition to host a grand opening April 11.

For more details on that event, and the full interview with Dastardly Arts, visit

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