Reckless Arts celebrates Halloween season with Zodiac Masquerade


Attendees of the Zodiac Masquerade pose at Reckless Arts on Friday, Oct. 20.

Alex Arnold

Reckless Arts, a nonprofit art residency program located on King Street, has been growing slowly since its foundation on Jan. 1. The gallery dedicates itself to the work done by artists in the community, and in its own words, “to the sustainability of art in society.”

On Oct. 20, Reckless Arts opened its doors after dark for its first annual Zodiac Masquerade Ball to ring in the Halloween season. The space hosted guests in elaborate costumes while a DJ played and glitch art was projected onto a nearby wall. After four hours of dancing and music, the night ended with a masked pub crawl up King Street.

“Basically, our mission is just to assist young entrepreneurs and artists to get started in a career whether it’s visual art, music, dancing, poetry, whatever that might be,” executive director Sara Scott said.

Ben Loomis, an Appalachian State alumnus also representing Reckless Arts, said their primary goal was “to be where student artists at Appalachian meet the art scene in Boone,” and “to give people the space they might not have otherwise.” He went on to discuss the fire dancers who make use of their space as an example.

The night went on. The music played, drinks were enjoyed by most guests old enough to partake and the conversations continued. The goal for the night’s pub crawl was described as a show of expression, a visible and creative revelry. The organizers wanted to “make the internal external,” Loomis said, aiming to make Reckless Arts’ presence known.

Two weeks earlier on Oct. 6, Reckless Arts held a zodiac mask-making session during the Downtown Art Fair in preparation for the event. One stated goal of the night was to help expand their occupancy, with ticket proceeds going to building renovations.

Loomis, Scott and others led dances through the night, mentioning their blues dance nights held on Thursdays from 9 to 11:30 p.m. Not limiting the space to visual and audio arts, Scott mentioned a goal to expand Reckless Arts’ endeavors into podcasting, which would allow them to express an admiration for the counterculture and artists in the community and a desire to highlight them in the space.

Diana Payne, a tarot instructor regularly presenting in the space, was in attendance. While Payne was not costumed, she had a space set aside to perform readings, contributing to the occult ambiance that the night aimed for.

At midnight, before the masked pub crawl, the remaining selected a Monarch of the Zodiac, choosing who had the best mask and awarding prizes to the winner.

The masquerade was described as being the culmination of much of what Reckless Arts has been doing since it began, with a much larger headcount than its usual events. Riding the success of the Downtown Boone Art Fair event, their increased public presence in Boone led to a core of 12 guests in attendance over the course of the night. The attendees had diminished by the time of the pub crawl, but proceeded up the street regardless.

“It can only get bigger from here,” Scott said.

Reckless Arts is still seeking artists in residence, with events and performances held regularly.

Story and Photos By: Alexa Hollow, Intern A&E Reporter