This Friday evening, the Phelps Mansion Museum will be hosting a live art experience directed by local artist Bob Alan Bricks and featuring performances by a troupe of other collaborative artists known as “Assorted Noble Savages.” The event, entitled “My Latest Adventure,” will feature a variety of different art forms, including painting, collage, sound and poetry.
Bricks has become a fixture in the Binghamton area with his unique, experimental art that does not subscribe to any particular style and makes use of any and all mediums according to his fancy. He began creating art as a young child and was influenced by his grandmother to begin painting, eventually engaging with different art forms. Bricks worked in advertising and then devoted himself to raising his children, and since retiring, he has fervently returned to his work, which consists of both visual arts and sound. Since 2015, he has had more than 25 exhibits throughout the Binghamton, Owego, Vestal, Endicott, Johnson City and Scranton, PA areas.
Bricks’ work can be in the form of paintings or collages depicting images culled from the recesses of his imagination. Bricks himself does not always know their significance, and delights in leaving the interpretation open to his audience.
“My [work] is kind of ‘trippy’ and it asks more questions than it makes any kind of statements or agenda,” Bricks said. “My favorite thing is when it connects [with people] in a way that they don’t even understand … I love that kind of channeling aspect … [I feel like] I meet them in an unconscious space.”
Joe Schuerch, house manager of the museum, said the event will be open to the public and students of Binghamton University are welcome to attend.
“Everything is open to the public, so everybody is welcome to attend — it’s just a fun, very informal type of evening,” Schuerch said. “So it’s kind of like going to an art gallery, except [the artwork] will be displayed in our ballroom instead.”
Bricks said the event comes after much anticipation to create a uniquely interactive art show that shirks the conventions of traditional art shows.
“My dream has been for about five years to put together an interactive kind of art experience — I wanted it to be something that was more of an experience, rather than just a dry art show. So this is an experiment,” Bricks said. “What I want to do is create, in the same way as a collage, [but] with people and atmosphere.”
Consequently, Bricks will also be presenting experimental soundscapes, running in the background of the exhibition while his troupe of so-called “Noble Savages” perform various artistic acts. He is encouraging attendees to come in costume to reinforce the atmosphere of peculiarity.
“I want to create this interesting, alternative vibe when you walk in, like you’re walking into a strange village, or you’re walking into this strange ball,” Bricks said. “I want it to be uncomfortable, but not dangerous. You know, not scary, but just off enough where you’re just a little off-kilter.”