Austin, prepare to trip the lights fantastic in an awe-inspiring neon seacape. Dance the night away among dazzling creatures and festive people at Ion Art and Art Seen Alliance’s Surreal Sea 2019.
What Is Surreal Sea?
What exactly is Surreal Sea? Imagine being surrounded by a multitude of colorful, fanciful denizens of the ocean. Now imagine they’re ginormous and aglow with neon, mirrors, stained glass, steel, and fluorescent paint.
Here’s a sampling of what to expect at Surreal Sea on Nov. 9, 2019, at Ion Art:
- Beats by DJ Mixer Rogers
- Cages for go-go dancing
- DIY glow-in-the-dark face painting
- Tarot readings by a mermaid (Sound Sight Tarot)
- Food trucks
This one-of-a-kind dance party blew me away last year. I’m known to be beguiled by the night and bedazzled by shiny objects. If it sparkles, shimmers, glimmers, gleams, or otherwise lights up, I am there, wide-eyed and possibly slack-jawed in wonder. Thus, it’s no surprise that I love the Surreal Sea party.
Mysterious Tiki Island
This year’s Surreal Sea theme is a mysterious Tiki island. New pieces in the works include Easter Island heads, a Tiki mask, a Tiki hut, and a voodoo DJ stage.
Party goers often dress up accordingly, so expect to see all-things seaworthy and Tiki-festive this year.
Last year’s revelers came as pirates, sharks, mermaids, lobsters, and more. The glitterati crowd was out in full force! If you can’t come up with your own costume, then be sure to stop by the complimentary glow-in-the-dark paint station to put on some party paint.
One Night Only
Ion Art and Art Seen Alliance work on these massive sea monsters and their environment for months, in preparation for this one-night-only event that typically sells out.
Now in its third year, with approximately 80 pieces on display, Surreal Sea promises to be a magical night. Half bringing people together to dance and celebrate art, and half persuasive showcase for what Ion Art and Art Seen Alliance are capable of, Surreal Sea impresses as much as it entertains.
Simply walking into the event last year through the gaping mouth of a voracious and wondrous sea monster kicked the night off right. This year, Ion Art is adding to the already magnificent showcase of extraordinary pieces, such as the enormous moving Kraken with a built-in catwalk for party goers, the tallest neon Texan mermaid ever, and the stunning glass, neon, and steel nautilus.
Surreal Sea will have food and drinks on hand for purchase. Local food trucks in attendance will be:
- Dolce Bacio
Black Sheep Lodge will lead the Tiki-themed cocktail bar. Long-time sponsors Austin Eastciders, 512 Brewing, and Topo Chico will also have drinks available. Tickets are only $20 and I expect them to sell out soon.
I can’t wait to see all the new pieces! Big Dog Pyro will be the on-site special effects sponsor, which means there will be some extra special effects happening this year. Ion Art is even giving sneak peeks from the workshop on its Instagram account.
Ion Art Is All Over Austin
Who in the world would come up with such epic ideas and also have the ability to carry them out? Ion Art, of course! Sharon and Greg Keshishian have been slaying the signage game in Austin since 1986. Ion Art’s work can be seen throughout Austin. The local business has created and maintained nearly every iconic sign in town.
Lest you think I’m getting carried away in breathless blogger hyperbole, I’ll let Ion Art’s body of work speak for itself. The ACL Festival guitar? It’s theirs. Maudie’s, Thom’s Market, and the colorful, Instagrammable “atx” sign in front of Whole Foods are their work, too.
The Keshishians run their shop as true leaders, in the trenches, inspired, and creative. They employ artists who are as driven and passionate as they are.
Visiting the workshop is hella cool. You can see all the works in progress, as well as artists painting, welding, glass-working, and more. It is a treat to see true masters at work.
Art Seen Alliance Partners for the Big Event
Art Seen Alliance is the perfect partner for Ion Art. According to its website, Art Seen Alliance provides “Turn-Key Services for Creative Experiences.” These services include:
- Custom fabrication
- Event production
- Design and rendering
- Event rentals
The team takes cool concepts for single pieces and turns them into anything from single masterpieces to full-scale festival setups.
“Sea” You There
The anticipation is killing me already and my mermaid costume is ready to go. I encourage you to join me. Surreal Sea will be a swimmingly good time again; I absolutely know it!
407 Radam Lane — Website
@theAustinot wants to know:
Are you going to Surreal Sea this year?