Art galleries are not places people typically gather for fun and games, but Redux stripped away fine art’s precious persona with a rowdy game night to celebrate the closing of Cory Oberndorfer’s playful Novelty exhibit.
The show, which kicked off in May with a parade led by the Lowcountry HighRollers, ended as whimsically as it started. Guests skipped down a life-size Candy Land game board painted on the floor into the main gallery, where enormous, pop-art style paintings of derby girls in action embellished the walls. Board games were scattered across the floor, and kids and adults alike sat crossed-legged on the ground as they matched wits over Scrabble, Uno, and Cranium.
“We want to make the visual arts more accessible to the public. It doesn’t have to be stuffy, and people don’t have to be intimidated by it,” said Executive Director Karen Ann Myers.
In Redux’s studio space, Oberndorfer, who came down from Washington, D.C., for the event, sipped PBR with a gaggle of roller derby vixens, his muses. One such derby queen sat with a heavy brace on her foot and staples that climbed up to her knee — the result of a broken tibia acquired in the rink — as a friend painted animated lightning bolts across the cast. Candy was sprinkled throughout the gallery, and guests of all ages enjoyed the youthful sugar high.
“I’m like a kid tonight,” Myers gushed after pulling the ring pop out of her mouth to shake a guest’s hand.