Artist and musician Mike Huckeby attended the very first Pancakes & Booze event at Oklahoma City Farmers Public Market in 2013 and left with the intention of joining the next year.
Huckeby, an emcee in hip-hop collective Sativa Prophets, said he started dabbling in painting before attending the event but it gave him the confidence to expand his visual art. He participated in the next two events, putting up his work for sale while patrons enjoyed live music, live painting and, of course, the titular pancakes and booze.
Huckeby’s reaction is the exact one Pancakes & Booze event founder Tom Kirlin was hoping to foster when he started the event in Los Angeles in 2009. Kirlin wanted to give emerging artists, those who have never set up in a gallery, a chance to explore the business side of art in a nontraditional setting.
“The world is full of artists that are hungry to showcase their talents and get their work out there,” Kirlin said by phone during an interview with Oklahoma Gazette. “They just need an outlet to do it, and that’s what we provide.
“There are a lot of artists in our show, and it’s their first time exhibiting in public. It’s kind of comical to see how many have never hung wire on the back of their artwork to get it on the wall. It’s a great feeling, though.”
Painting everything from jackets to canvas is part of Sativa Prophets’ live shows. It’s something that emerged for Huckeby after participating in his first Pancakes & Booze Art Show.
“It made me think differently about my art and gave me confidence,” Huckeby said. “When you get so many reviews and how long they stare, regardless of whether they buy it or not, it’s really inspiring. It gave me a drive to continue to do it and new ideas after talking to artists.”
Kirlin said that OKC Farmers Public Market is one the biggest and coolest venues for any Pancakes & Booze event across the country. The multi-level space will be taken full advantage of by event organizers who will position live artists, music and alcohol throughout the space.
“It is not your typical gallery setting that can be overwhelming and pretentious. We’re the opposite of the wine-and-cheese atmosphere,” Kirlin said of the event, which is only for those over the age of 21.
Kirlin, who spends half of the year in Bangkok and the other half in the United States, relies on a team of contractors across the country to help plan the events. He and another full-time employee take artist submissions and determine who will be able to showcase at the event.
He takes submissions right up until a few days before the Sept. 8 event, which runs 8 p.m.-12 a.m. Over 60 artists will display their work.
When Kirlin first expanded the event concept outside Los Angeles, the first stop was Nashville, where he had family. It came to Oklahoma City a few years later after being told by artists in Dallas and New Orleans of OKC’s art community.
“OKC was one of those places that initially skipped my radar,” Kirlin said. “I didn’t have a good grasp of how strong the art community is there. I found the Farmers Market, and it was such a big venue.”
He came into town for the first show and left impressed.
“The first show in OKC was one of the biggest we had done at the time, and it was an awesome turnout. It blew us away.”
Tickets are $7-$13.65, and the price of admission includes pancakes. Visit pancakesandbooze.com/okc.
The Pancakes & Booze Art Show OKC
8 p.m.-12 a.m. Sept. 8
OKC Farmers Public Market | 311 S. Klein Ave.
$7-$13.65 | 21+
print headline: Syrupy soiree, A Sept. 8 event gives emerging artists a chance to shine in a nontraditional setting.