It’s six p.m. Thursday night at Sol Collective and people are pouring through the open door. Each person carries a sketchbook, writing utensils, and miscellaneous items used for their work. The atmosphere is wonderful. People are smiling and chatting over the faint sound of jazz music. Slowly, it progresses into near silence with the only sound being the background music and the scratching of pens on paper. Everyone is lax and approachable, especially muralist Shaun Burner who tells me about the origin of Tuesday night collabs at Sol Collective.
Shaun Burner and Waylon Horner started the Co-Lab at Sol Collective about a year ago, although the collaborative art night has been an ongoing underground event for longer than that. “At first, it was just a ton of weirdos (Burner clarifies that he means this in most endearing way possible) hanging out and making art together until the wee hours of the morning,” explained Burner. “Sol just turned out to be our venue,” Burner says gratefully, and Horner nods in agreement. Burner then goes on to explain that this is what he and several of his fellow artists considers socializing, rather than going to a bar to see friends.
When I ask about the energy, Burner and Horner exchange looks and smile. “It’s great, and there’s no real creating energy,” explained Burner, “It’s brought by the people that come.” Burner also emphasized that the Co-Lab is collectively run and thrived during his recent trip to the UK with the help of Horner, Stephen Williams, Trent Liddicoat, and more.
One artist I found out at the Co-Lab was BAMR (Becoming A Man Righteously) who painted the Kings mural downtown. “Sometimes artists collaborate. Sometimes we just do our own thing. It varies.” Bamr noted. Tonight he’s doodling, but usually, he paints. He says his favorite thing about the collaboration is networking. “I get to meet like minded people in a friendly environment, it breeds good work.”
Sol Collective is also working to start a writer’s Co-Lab on Tuesdays in the back room to follow up Microphone Mondays. “We want writers to get real, honest feedback so they can improve, much like artists when they come and get involved in the Art Co-Lab,” explains Andru Defeye, the man behind Microphone Mondays. Tuesday night Co-Labs start at 6-10 p.m. and are free to the public EVERY TUESDAY NIGHT. See you there.
Tuesday Night Collabs are open to everyone.For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org