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A blnka story..

 Colors, here, orchestrate the most vibrant sunsets across the Panhandle of Texas. Distinct seasons, flat terrain, and tumbleweeds cultivate the fully immersive West Texas experience. People paint, sculpt, sing, write, and compose the city's identity, their craft and passion; masterfully formulating the single spark that ignites a wild spread of ideas and growth across the community. Lubbock, Texas is known as the Hub City--connecting major cities from around the South Plains through networks of education, health care, economics, and shipping.

 A once prosperous and vibrant downtown has become a largely abandoned and neglected area. We hope to inspire more entrepreneurs, scholars, developers, investors, and friends alike to continue to make a difference together, sparking ideas for the future of our Downtown Lubbock community.

 

-BLNKA  /BLAHN-KUH/

 

All photography provided by blnka artists and blnka contributors.

 
 

              {left}  Erica Abesamis | Jonathan Bergen | Dave Clayton | Gina Astuto        

Lubbock is beautiful.

 This town has a notion of being boring, dry, and dull. When in reality the experience here, is quite unique and holistic. There's a constant flow of emerging individuals with creativity and talents fueling the growth of the "arts" across the Panhandle of Texas.  People from the surrounding towns, cities and states naturally gravitate towards this "hub" in West Texas for commerce, agriculture, and education; generating diversity and progression. 

Our friends, colleagues and professors have inspired us to empower one-another and celebrate each other's work. Paintings, sculptures, photography, diagrams, renderings, and drawings are all collections of  powerful and meaningful visuals and stories that evoke an experience unique to each individual. The space becomes activated, emotions are triggered and people connect through the power of the arts.  

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BLNKA Exhibit


ONE

BLNKA Exhibit


ONE

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BLNKA X ULABS

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BLNKA X ULABS

We had the great fortune of collaborating with Ulabs, which is a community workspace designed to grow ideas and visions. Go check them out at ulabstx.org! Together, we renovated the entire West wing of the Ulabs building, transforming an old storage space into a gallery. After gutting out most of the building, patching and painting walls, installing lighting systems and refurbishing or building enough furniture and displays to set the stage for a gallery, the incredible response from Lubbock artists filled up the gallery over night. The art carefully installed, live music began as the doors opened to a community and brought an exhibition to life.

 On the evening of November 06, 2015 Our friends, families, artists, musicians, and supporters celebrated a night of talented individuals from around LBK.

 

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BLNKA Exhibit I


BLNKA Exhibit I


blnka x ulabs

 

People often think of alleys simply as dark narrow places between buildings, where eerie and isolated experiences occur.

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Project Alley


TWO

Project Alley


TWO

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Project Alley II


Project Alley II


 

Spring 2016,

We set our eyes on two intersecting alleys located downtown between Avenues J & K and began researching and documenting the site, throughout the semester. After receiving the city's approval for an event we began seeking out artists, musicians, food trucks, and sponsors to help bring these alleys to life. We thank Sigma Omicron Chi at Texas Tech University, as they were big contributors in the clearing of the alleys. After all the help from friends and supporters, we were finally ready for an event that we called Project Alley. On the morning of the event, April 1st, a rogue storm brought inches of rain, strong winds funneling through the alleyways, and even snow fall. Our team and artists where out there removing standing water to get the alleyways back in their former red glory. Miraculously, the final rain clouds would begin to part just in time for the event.

 

Lubbock has so much potential! Please help us to continue the conversation about downtown revitalization.

Together we will continue to make a difference.

 
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The Mattison III


 

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The Mattison III


 

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the mattison bldg. iii

Fall 2016,

 

      The Mattison Building can be found in Lubbock, Texas on Crickets Avenue, a street renamed after Buddy Holly's band "The Crickets". Just two blocks off Broadway, on 14th Street, the Mattison sits in the middle of the First Friday Art Trail and Depot District , which today, are the two most active and progressive areas in Downtown Lubbock. 

 

      Built in 1960 as cotton offices and later converted into a pathology facility, the Mattison was at the heart of the agricultural and medical booms which would help cultivate Lubbock into the cultural epicenter that it is today. On November 4th, 2016 The Mattison building was reactivated through a collaboration with talented individuals, kick-ass sponsors, fire marshals, and building inspectors, whose work helped repurpose a single example of Downtown Lubbock’s many desolate buildings and empty spaces. After two months of meeting with city officials, resolving a list of safety concerns, and constant cleaning efforts, thanks to our friends, we slowly began stitching together a reimagined use for the upstairs office suites, which had lain vacant for decades. Piece by piece, the top of the Mattison transformed into an exhibition showcasing a series of live/work studios, filled with installations, art and creativity. Meanwhile, the bottom of the Mattison became galleries for paintings, sculptures, and projected visuals. The Mattison's large parking lot hosted food trucks, live music, mobile galleries, & aerialist performances.

 

  This project was made possible by the help of many friends, supporters and sponsors.  Thank you for everything!

 


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THE CLIFFHOUSE IV


THE CLIFFHOUSE IV


1/05/18

The future developments of The Cliffhouse.

 
 

 500 E. BROADWAY Lubbock, Texas

 

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Fall 2017,

    Our forth exhibition was hosted on a vacant property at 500 E Broadway, formerly known as the Cliffhouse Restaurant and Parkview Lodge. With views across Mackenzie State Park from the first paved road through town, this preeminent destination for tourists and travelers of the 1950s is, today, a deteriorating lot in isolation, most commonly known for its reputation as a graffiti park. Cliffhouse Project Director, Chimsee Hagy is leading the revitalization efforts which are turning the abandoned complex into organic gardens, open studios, artist residencies and public venues to enhance the local arts community for East Lubbock.

 

We collaborated with Thecliffhouseproject.org to host the second local arts exhibition of 2017 at the Cliffhouse on December 1st. An abandoned bed & breakfast lodge from 1949 again became activated—now as an exhibition space for live music, contemporary art, food trucks, vendors, and people. Our exhibitions have focused on the goal to rethink abandoned buildings and properties exemplifying the possibilities for reviving abandoned areas in Lubbock Texas.

     As a collective we are eager to both watch and to help realize the future development plans of this historic site as an arts community in East Lubbock. A special thanks to Matthew Harris Law Firm, which has been one of our most supportive and avid sponsors throughout all our exhibitions. It is only through the support of our community, friends, and generous sponsors by which we have been able and continue to pursue the revitalization of such cultural and historical properties throughout Lubbock, Texas.

 

Arial view of The Cliffhouse complex located on 500 E. Broadway Lubbock, Texas. The main exhibition space is represented by red highlighted area.  

 

December 1st 2017

 

moments from the night of the cliffhouse exhibition by Iván Santiago Bravo 

Iván Santiago Bravo is a Texas Tech, student athlete from Madrid, España. He states, 

"I am exploring three different concentrations: Photography, Print Making and Advertising. I enjoy creating conceptual projects with dark themes with a focus on portraits."

 

photography by hayden denny

Hayden Denny "Exigency" features his photography, and collaborative poetry.

BLNKA JAM 18'


BLNKA JAM 18'


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Spring 2018,

BLNKA JAM '18

DOWNTOWN URBAN ARTS FESTIVAL

      We’re planning a Downtown Urban Arts Festival on April 28th, 2018 located in the heart of Downtown Lubbock. We will be closing sections of Broadway Street and Avenue J to create a festival that will engage with the surrounding context, local businesses and abandoned properties. The one-day festival will exhibit Lubbock’s rich art, architecture, music, fashion and film communities based in West Texas. The festival will last from 12pm-11pm and will feature a full day of music and theatre performances on Broadway Street, the block’s alleyways will host a series of art installations, fashion, lecture presentations, and independent films. Followed by Avenue J which will have a wide range of food trucks and open markets throughout the day.

      BLNKA JAM '18 will highlight  this area which holds significance to Lubbock’s history of commercial success and current promise as the ideal area for urban redevelopment. If we look at the center of downtown, we can observe the few local businesses still active in this area. These businesses begin to urbanize downtown through mix-used residential buildings like the Pioneer Condos, shops like La Feria Music store, or restaurants like Giorgio’s Pizza. The foundations for urban living are here. Now we must advocate for more development.

      Our mission is to help grow a new Arts District within the center of Downtown Lubbock.  The idea is to help reconnect this area with its commercial activity and serve as a connection between the Depot District and the Lubbock Cultural District known for LHUCA, the First Friday Arts Trail, and the Buddy Holly Center. These two arts districts are examples of the economic growth that arts can bring to an area and how everyone benefits from extension of the overall experience in Lubbock.  We’re seeking collaboration from the community to promote the importance of integrating the arts into Lubbock’s downtown redevelopment goal. We hope the festival will promote the local arts and encourage new investors and opportunities for these abandoned properties and surrounding context to continue the growth of urban development.

To learn more on our organization check out our LBK mission statement.                                         


This was only possible by the support and contribution from the local community and businesses. Thank you for your support!


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Culture & Color Exhibiton


Culture & Color Exhibiton


CULTURE AND COLOR EXHIBITION

Celebrating the culture, individuality and color in West Texas.

Fall, 2018

For this event LHUCA has been gracious enough to extend an artistic hand by giving us The Icehouse and The Main Plaza Stage. November 2nd being a culturally heavy day, we wanted to extend our artistic hands out to artists to promote culture and traditions from any and all aspects of the world.

The Culture and Color exhibition will showcase the importance of representing individuality and culture in a growing urban setting. This BLNKA event will carry out in three different locations. The Icehouse, The Main Plaza, and CASP Studio 2 will have musical performances throughout the night. The gallery space will be located in the Icehouse.

The First Friday Art Trail in Lubbock, is a program established by LHUCA to help promote and connect public art on the first Friday of every month. During this event the community comes together to organize a wide range of art exhibitions and events scattered throughout city. The city offers free Art Trail trolleys rides for anyone who wants to experience all of the exhibitions that are happening throughout the night. If you’re interested learning more about the trolley route click here.

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