Written By Emma O
The traveling art show Pancakes and Booze is touring across the US, Canada, and even parts of Europe. The show made its Dallas stopover on April 2nd at The Prophet Bar in Deep Ellum. It absolutely delivers on its titular promise with free battered breakfast cakes with the option of purchasing alcohol at the bar. But don’t let the title fool you, the real treat is the abundant visual artwork and performances.
The pancake assembly line consisted of about four cooks in the back of the room all wearing white chef’s jackets. This was serious business and they were in rapid production mode, flinging the pancakes out fast while keeping the line short. The choice was between strawberry, banana or blueberry. It was a difficult decision. I changed my mind three times before I settled on banana. Worth it. Even the finest dressed patrons were chowing down on these fruity battered delights, some even opting out of using the provided utensils. Basically, it was a socially acceptable opportunity to stuff your face. And I did. And everyone around me was doing it too.
Once I got my pancake fix, I could really appreciate the exhibitions. Almost all the available wall space was covered in widely different styles of artwork. They ranged from depictions of Storm Troopers and other fictional characters, colorful prints of African-American leaders and musicians, surreal dystopias, nature inspired paintings, gothic jewelry to a subtle yet intimate penciled portrait of an elderly couple in love. The latter actually got me a little choked up. A definite political pulse was also felt with representations of Black Lives Matter and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.
Cowboy hatted local speed painter Gabino Martinez showed off his Flash-like skills, wowing the crowd of onlookers. Another artist handed a flashlight to passersby to view her glow-in-the-dark walled sculptures. Unfortunately, I arrived too late to see the live models being painted. Note to self: body painting is more exciting than work, get off earlier next time.
There seemed to be a camaraderie between the displaying artists. At several displays I experienced and overheard artists praising their neighboring artists talent or exhibitions to visitors. The overall vibe was definitely one of positivity.
We ended up stopping by a stall called Native Trashion. The company makes jewelry from recycled materials and were selling Pokémon inspired wooden jewelry. My partner was entranced so I purchased a ‘Fighting Type Energy Pendant’ necklace for him. He declared his love for me with wide-eyed appreciation as though I’d personally caught him Mewtwo. Which is a good thing, apparently.
If Pancakes and Booze is coming to a city near you, go! I implore you. Not only do you get to experience visual performances , you also get pancakes. Delicious pancakes. The only regret we had was not bringing enough cash. Even if you are not interested in purchasing artwork, the atmosphere, visual displays, performances and sheer talent on display are well worth going to enjoy. Also, did I mention the pancakes?
All photos by Manuel Somarriba