Ping-Pong, Whiskey and Sparklers: A Night at the Joanna

Categories: Visual Arts

A little evening ping-pong at the CAMH: The Joanna's Brian Rod (left) and Cody Ledvina
When Art Attack showed up at the Joanna Gallery to talk with masterminds Brian Rod and Cody Ledvina about their upcoming Gala, the duo had just finished brainstorming over a game of ping-pong. They have three days to get the space transformed into a deluxe party of all things art (and all things party). The Joanna is known for using their art openings as a way to bring everybody together and have fun. Over the past three years, they have established their own growing community of people who not only appreciate art, but also just appreciate the hell out of hanging out with each other. If you've never been to one before, now's a great time to start. The Joanna Sexy Godz Gala will be going on from 8pm to midnight, this Saturday at 1401 Branard. No tickets, no RSVP necessary, just bring a good attitude, and be ready to get in on some mischievous auctions, raffles and bribes. Free shots upon entry (or so we hear).

Art Attack: So what is going on?

Cody Ledvina: The Joanna Gala.

Brian Rod: It's the first actual party we've thrown in three years.

CL: Openings are parties.

BR: But they're also openings.

CL: This is an excuse to -- the original idea was to make money, to fund shows through about next June. And each show costs roughly $200 to $300 depending on who comes in and what happens, and so we were hoping to raise that money, and we quickly found out that you have to put in money to get money.

BR: And we don't have the money to put in. So we're expecting to kind of break even this time.

CL: And it's also a way of doing something different with the space and thinking about bringing people together in a different way -- which is nice, because that's ultimately what we want to do is bring a community together, obviously to experience new work and good work.

BR: But also to kind of enjoy one another.

AA: Your openings definitely have that feeling. Is there going to be art up at the Gala?

CL: There will be. We're looking to take on a different kind of auction or raffle. You know how every art fundraiser has this "art for sale" or "art for auction" or whatever, so we're having three different kinds.

BR: One is our "Helen Keller Auction" which is we're not going to let people touch the work ...

CL: No, people can touch it -- that's all you can do! You can't talk to it or hear it or listen to it.

AA: Or see it?

CL: Or see it, that's what it is.

AA: It's just like a black box that you put your hand inside?

CL: Yeah, we're going to have fabric over the top.

BR: You'll just have to kind of feel your way through.

AA: Are there special pieces being created for that experience?

CL: Yeah, there's a couple that are going to be sort of interesting.

AA: It sounds like a haunted house.

CL: Yeah, with the grapes ...

AA: Yeah, the peeled grapes.

BR: We're also going to have a bribery auction.

CL: Where you can bribe Brian and I, and not just with money.

BR: But potentially favors for the space or favors for us in particular. If someone wants to do my lawn for a couple weeks, then they can do it.

AA: In exchange for?

CL: A piece of work!

AA: Very professional.

BR: We'll kind of coordinate and decide which bribe is the best.

CL: And then the last is just going to be a general auction -- silent auction kind of thing -- or like they do at Box 13 where you put your ticket in and then you pull out. That's a really good one. That's a good way to do it.

BR: Especially for the more desirable ones.

CL: Yeah, because the other two are just sort of spoofs ...

BR: Gimmicks.

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