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Counterculture art finds space at NocMoc 3

Check out works by Jason Herzog, including Beep.
  • Check out works by Jason Herzog, including Beep.

Now in its third year, Nocturnal Mockery, perhaps the most diverse art show in the Springs, boasts work from a dizzying number of artists. Happy to have the event in the OpticalReverb Gallery for a second time, organizers Richard Arnot and Mike Schwartz (aka Halo One) haven't lost any of the passion that's made this one of the most exciting visual arts events in town.

NocMoc, as those in the know call it, continues to expand from its humble beginnings.

"We did everything out of pocket," Schwartz explains, "especially in the first year [when the show was in a vacant storefront on Colorado Avenue]. We were in there, painting the walls ourselves. You know, grimy's cool, but we want to give these talented people a place to shine."

Accordingly, there will be an admission charge for the first time.

"Don't get me wrong -- it's still a definite labor of love," Arnot says. "But we want to see NocMoc grow. We don't want to be limited."

Although the NocMoc concept came from a desire to show graffiti work more traditionally, the exhibition includes forms that should appeal to everyone.

"I like to call it 'adult contemporary,'" Schwartz says. "No one really knows what that means, but it seems to define what's going on. And it's a lot less intimidating than 'graffiti,' which, unfortunately, for some still means 'vandalism. '"

"We want to be really clear," Arnot adds. "We want to host an event that encompasses freedom of art and expression, that is a positive experience for everyone."

While a number of graffiti artists will be featured, an equal number of painters, sculptors and illustrators will display refreshing and provocative works. Check out Martin McCormack's spare and stunning paintings on heavy wooden doors. Also, be sure to look for the tongue-in-cheek graf murals on toy trains and trucks by Vogues, Jhar 451 and Vekst.

Unlike a traditional gallery show, where works are shown at precise angles and with requisite white space, NocMoc uses every spare inch of wall. The call for art this year brought a record number of entries, and the exact number of featured artists won't be known until the show opens.

That amuses Schwartz.

"We'll have people waiting outside with pieces in their arms, just in case there's room for any more art."

-- Bettina Swigger


Nocturnal Mockery 3

OpticalReverb Gallery, 3125 Sinton Road

Friday, Oct. 14, 5 p.m. to midnight; Saturday, Oct. 15, noon to midnight; Sunday, Oct. 16, noon to 7 p.m.

Tickets: $5; e-mail for more info.

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