Local artists illustrate Tucson's beauty in Dusk Music Festival installations

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Courtney Talak | The Daily Wildcat

A view of Joe Pagac's mural on Borderland's Brewing. Pagac, a Tucson-based muralist and fine artist, finished this piece in April 2015.

Nothing beats a Tucson sunset. Look no further than social media for a testament to our sunsets' beauty — even after hundreds of Instagram posts, every Tucson dusk pictures still takes a viewer's breath away.

It’s this Southwest aesthetic that sets the theme for Dusk Music Festival and the beauty therein that inspires much of the local art at the festival on Saturday.

Tucson’s art scene boasts incredible talent that can compete with the likes of art capitals around the world, and it’s this resource that Dusk site art director Kristen Repp hopes to tap into at the festival.

"Each artist will have their interpretation of what [dusk] means and apply it to what they're doing," Repp said. "It's great because this festival will enable all of our attendees to see a collection of work from well-known artists like Joe Pagac and Danny Martin and also some emerging artists like Gabriella [Molina]."

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Molina is a visual artist who has specialized in animation and projection art since moving to Tucson from San Francisco three years ago.

Molina will present graphic motion art featuring found items and other projected along with looping segments featured in the festival’s silent cinema.

While originally focused on painting, Molina found herself drawn to creating art with a connection to Tucson’s vibrant music scene.

"Tucson's cultural scene seems to be very musically inspired,” Molina said. “That's the best way I've come to bond with the community — through musical events and music videos and projections for live shows."

Molina said she found inspiration through her experience teaching art to children. Her piece focuses on a sense of play that’s imperative to having quality music festival experience.

"You really need to have a sense of play and creativity to map out how to be part of a festival,” Molina said. “The festival becomes like a playground, and it's up to you what your experience is. What you learn and discover is determined by your own creative abilities."

Dusk will feature four other local artists in addition to Molina — muralists Joe Pagac and Danny Martin, co-founder and architect Page Repp and visual artist Alexandra Gjurasic.

Pagac, known for his Rialto murals, has created murals of the performing artists with a dusk sky as background.

Martin has created a coloring book featuring his work and continuing with that theme, he will have a massive drawing on site that Dusk attendees can help color in.

Repp, one of the founders of the festival and a UA architecture alumna, has created a glowing metal entry piece spelling out "Dusk" to welcome festival-goers.

Upon first conversing about a potential art instillation for Dusk, both Repp and Gjurasic both immediately arrived at a Tucson staple: the cactus.

Gjurasic’s inspiration led her to create a cactus garden out of Styrofoam. Along with the other local artists, Gjurasic hopes to add to the common theme of Dusk — celebrating what makes Tucson great.

"Tucson has a lot going on with food, art and music,” Gjurasic said. “It's such a touchstone community. Dusk coming up in the middle of it makes sense. It really lends something to the arts community."

This sentiment was echoed by Repp, who has experienced the explosion of Tucson culture and sees its potential to get even better.

"A lot of my friends growing up here moved away to bigger cities, and it's really interesting because they're all starting to come back,” Repp said. “They're bringing with them their experience and their love of Tucson. If we can just keep emerging talent here and bring in new artists, it's just going to get better and better.”

Whether it be through art, technology, community or food, Tucson possesses all the right ingredients for a music festival.

The city is ready for it all to come together at Dusk.

"We're not reinventing the wheel. It's something that we're due for," Repp said. "We want to broaden your horizons and enhance our identity — our beautiful desert and that we have a kick-ass city."


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