The Daily Tar Heel

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Sunday October 17th

A festival of the awesomely strange: Oddville’s live art experience

<p>An art piece submitted to be showcased at Oddville. Photo courtesy of Wes Naman.</p>
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An art piece submitted to be showcased at Oddville. Photo courtesy of Wes Naman.

The idea for Oddville struck Ezra and Julia Croft, founders and current organizers, four years ago in San Francisco, California. On Saturday, Nov. 2, the one-night art festival is coming to the Triangle.

Ezra Croft said they were producing art shows, but wanted to find something that went beyond the standard art you would find at a dentist’s office. He started exploring the ways in which all kinds of strange art could be collectively experienced in the same place. 

He said following the first Oddville festival, they moved to North Carolina and realized there were many artists that did not have a way of publicizing their unique and strange art. 

Julia Croft said the art community seemed to already be connected in California, so the challenge in North Carolina was bringing everyone together.

“There’s a community of weirdos,” Julia Croft said. “It’s all sort of scattered here and there. We wanted to bring all of those people together.”

In Durham, they found The Fruit, a venue that hosts art exhibits and performances. 

Any and all are welcome to attend Oddville, where there will be a variety of interactive art, performance, food and drinks. 

“I wanted art to mostly be accessible to people,” Ezra Croft said. “It’s a good opportunity to let it all loose—experience their own fantastic weirdness.” 

Ezra Croft encouraged people to bring maximum participation and engage in the art experience. There will be vendors, live music and a diverse range of both art observation and creation. 

“It’s not your typical gallery setting,” Julia Croft said. “Everything that is coming to Oddville is brought in from the outside. It’s all based off of the participants and their excitement level.”

Tim Walter, founder of The Fruit, said the venue hosts a variety of events, from modern dance to art installations.

“You’ll have lots of places to wander and imagine and different environments and performers to encounter,” Walter said. “Have a drink and have a laugh.”

Julia and Ezra Croft said the event will bring more than just art exhibits, but also comedians, puppeteers, DJs and live painting. Oddville will feature around 25 artists and 30 vendors. 

“We consider it more of an art event instead of an art show because there is so much to do,” Ezra Croft said. “We want people to bring a date, meet a stranger, come get ready to dance.”

The Crofts are already in the process of organizing the next Oddville, which Ezra Croft says will be even bigger as the festival continues to grow. 

“Come and basically expect the unexpected, meet some strangers and get outside your comfort level and create art,” Ezra Croft said.

“That’s what we’re here for—meet the art community and let them meet you.”

arts@dailytarheel.com

@ben_mcentire

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