Past Experience With Art: Ouch My Eye

Have you ever been to a place where they have a dead squid in the middle of the table where people drawing a large sheets of paper? At Ouch My Eye, you are bound to see many unusual things like a dead squid. It was an open work session night when my friends and I went. It is where art is displayed, coffee and cocktails are served, people are socializing, a musical artist playing live music, and a whole lot of drawing. That is just one of many events held at Ouch My Eye, which includes exhibits, fashion shows, social events, and live music.

I had the opportunity to not only hang out with my friends and let my creative juices flowing, but to also mingle with strangers for the sole purpose of viewing their art and getting to know this fun place some more. It was January 23rd 2010 when we drove the long distance to Seattle to meet our friends there. It wasn’t what I expected to be (in agood sense). This is a great place to fuel your creative energy, and I regret not finding this establishment sooner.

         Ouch My Eye is a small cartel of creatives dedicated to supporting the Seattle community through the creation and exhibition of the visual arts (finely put by Ouch My Eye themselves). Ouch My Eye has outlasted many traditional non-profit organizations and art galleries, being an unorthodox model of a self funded non-profit gallery. Part of their model is to stay focused on the core mission of the creative community and going out of their way to seek out artists whose work is guided by a passion to create regardless of education, affiliation, or accomplishment. They normally choose work based on curatorial themes and open calls, but for that night they invite patrons and artists alike to bring their work and/or work on their artwork.

         I had the opportunity to speak to John, the owner of Ouch My Eye to ask a few questions. His philosophy with this non-profit organization is to promote an ever changing creative community. In my personal experience I easily see a thriving creative and social energy flooding in this gallery. The way it was set up that night was art being presented and displayed on the walls, barista serving coffee to the side, bartending serving drinks in the back, a drummer performing live on a stage platform Trent Moor man of “Head Like a Kite” playing that night), a working artist painting a large-scale piece, and tables and chairs placed so artists can sit and be creative which includes different stimuli indifferent places.

         As excited I was about being there, I had to approach someone and talk about this more. I came across a woman by the name of “Blue Sky” and asked her what’s so interesting about this place? She simply replied, “the squid.” I asked her what does she like most? She said, “watching other talented artists work.” Simple enough, I understood the shared excitement. She had some great works of art of nude models. I was surrounded by talented artists, including Robert Hardgrave,who was painting live on a large-scale panel.

         Three of his smaller artworks were being displayed at the gallery. I noticed a very unique style of paint, abstract, and collage. With his GOLDEN paint by his side, he paints throughout the night. I asked him what he thinks about when he is painting this? He replied, “Everything!!!” He told me the techniques he likes to incorporate is calligraphy. The best time period of art history he claims is the early 20’s. On the side I asked some random, irrelevant questions. Such as his favorite color: orange. Also his favorite music: Heavy Metal. What a fantastic place to meet new, and interesting people that share the same artistic interests.

         The art displayed on the walls of Ouch My Eye were amazing. From line drawings of what looked like a piece of crinkled up foil to Robert Hardgrave’s unusual and colorful paintings, it helps with the visual experience for anyone. My favorite would be the eye paintings on what seems to be plastic sheets. Random sculptures sit in random places. I would like to contribute art there someday.
         It was a unique and vibrant experience. A great atmosphere and culture. This event peaked my interest, to where I will definitely be visiting Ouch My Eye much more often. I plan on going back there very soon so I can see what else it has to offer. Hopefully in the future when I progress in my academic art studies and transfer to the university of Washington’s School of Art, I can have the opportunity to pursue an internship there. Whatever your interests are, I highly recommend Ouch My Eye. It is where you can feel the importance of the creative community and visual arts. You would be allowed a chance to experience and satisfy different senses. If I haven’t convinced you enough then check out I believe currently they are working on a new site, one of few that is keeping them busy at the moment. One of the things are a dungeon workshop, which I’m intrigued to learn more about it. Until then, check out their site and sign up for e-mail updates to be on top of upcoming events.Trust me it will be worth your time.



About Julian Peña

I'm a visual artist and student currently in progress to attaining a Bachelors of Fine Arts. I've been creating fantastical works of art since I was at the age of 13 years old. My work is transcendent beyond the material world and life itself. The paintings are polychromatic and visually exciting, while still maintaining a level of harmony. The subjects in many of these works of art may not exist at all despite what we perceive. It is a play on perception, an attempt to engage the viewers. I has earned numerous scholarships, participated in several group exhibitions, and already organized my own solo exhibition (CMYK, 2011). My meticulous and unique style is visually arresting. New ideas are constantly being examined and then visually communicated. Come check out my works at! I am is also currently part of the 253 Collective (a co-op) in downtown Tacoma. I currently live and work out of my loft in downtown Tacoma, WA.

Drop me a line!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: