The creativity of workers within the Los Angeles bar scene was recognised in a landmark charity event in the city last week. Art Beyond The Glass showcased the photographers, film-makers, performers, musicians and more within the ranks of bartenders.
Performers included Mad Planet: an all-bartender band featuring Cooper Gillespie of Thirsty Crow Bar; the vocal talents of Laura Lindsay from Providence; a magic show by Josh Lucas of The Writers Room; live graffiti art by Pablo Moix of La Descarga, Harvard & Stone and Pour Vous; graphic prints from Chris Bostock, formerly of The Varnish; visual art from Mia Sarazen of Areal and Eugene Lee of Big Bar. In total, there were seven artists, six live acts and five DJs, who showcased their unique talents to an audience of around 200 people, made up of the art world and the bar world.
Giovanni Martinez, the man behind the bar program at Sadie Kitchen & Lounge in Hollywood, offered his restaurant to house the showcase last Sunday (June 17th), eventually growing into a fully fledged dance party. Everything from the art on the walls to the music was provided by bartender talent, including DJing- bartenders from French concept bar Pour Vous.
As well as celebrating the performers' innate creativity, the programme was designed to raise money for the arts education institution Inner-City Arts, located on Skid Row in Downtown LA. Some $6,000 was raised on the day.
In between performances, bartenders took turns making cocktails for guests, with sponsoring brands Campari USA, Karlsson's Vodka, St. George Spirits and Del Maguey Mezcal providing stock.
The event was created by Zahra Bates, beverage director of Providence Restaurant, and Daniel Djang, founder of the Thirsty In LAcocktail blog.
"Daniel and I conceived the event to be a celebration of our bartenders and all of their artistic endeavors," says Zahra. "I think that it went really well based on the reaction of our community, everyone involved was shining with happiness and this was proof of the success to me. There were some difficulties but we were able to come together to create something special."
She said the response was such that the event will likely be staged again next year, and added they have been approached by other cities to bring Art Beyond the Glass to them.