The Hostel Takeover Art Show is back and in full effect! Over 180 local community members attended this event at HI San Diego Downtown in January after its return from a 2 year hiatus. Prior to the hiatus, this hostel had been hosting Hostel Takeover for almost 3 years, starting in February, 2010. Hostel Takeover is designed to bridge the San Diego local community of artists to each other, as well as to our community of international travelers. Our stellar reviews in comment cards, online, and in person from our hostel guests proved that they enjoyed this rare glimpse into San Diego’s burgeoning subcultures. Throughout the day, they learned of different forms of expression that they could bring back home with them, and met our local community of artists face to face to share thoughts, ideas, and understanding. We even had two in-house guests and two of our hostel front desk staff participate in the show by doing live portrait sketches, selling hand-crafted jewelry, and rapping in the hour-long hip-hop cypher session. Other members of the HI San Diego Downtown staff, including housekeepers and volunteers, proudly helped by putting together a vegan-friendly nacho bar complete with vegan ceviche and chili, working security, and helping to clean up during and after the show.
Since our original run of Hostel Takeovers, we have been proud to see some of our featured artists come together and create new collectives, finish large community projects together, start their own events and gallery spaces, and grow as individuals. We are bringing back our art movement to a new wave of San Diego artists and travelers that we hope will feel charged with creativity, forward thinking, and inspiration. Our Community Engagement Coordinator, Joseph Acuna, reached out to numerous new local artists and collectives, unfamiliar with the past art shows, as well as notable veterans of Hostel Takeover to provide an exhibition for all to enjoy. Featured artists included newcomers such as Lauren Grant, Beavster, Spenser Little, Dan Pryor, Sergio Hernandez, Thorrissey, Bakula and over 30 more.
We were proud to bring back David and Danny Pena who have gone on to work with past featured artist, Celeste Beyer, on fantastic local murals and have even taken practices learned from Hostel Takeover and applied them to an art gallery they have founded and opened in Tijuana, Mexico. Danny Pena’s website (halfasleep.net) reads: “David began a project called ‘Out Here’ in Tijuana where he collaborates with his brother Daniel Peña to host art events including group exhibitions, murals and workshops. Curating these events has allowed him to build meaningful community between artists working within the San Diego and Tijuana border regions. His projects have been featured in national and international media such as Picnic, Computer Arts and Juxtapoz.”
Hostel Takeover is not just for studio artists. January’s Hostel Takeover featured an amazing lineup of musicians to keep visitors entertained to the very end. Big Bloom opened up the evening with a rocking set. Our Hip-hop cypher, hosted every first Sunday of the month, has gained a very positive local reputation as being the most legitimate meet-up for rappers to hone their skills. The success of this cypher has been dependent of word of mouth and local participation. Park & Wreck and the Wizrds Only collectives of San Diego provided 3 fantastic rappers and 3 brilliant producers to assure that we would be able to show any other writers or beat makers that our hip-hop cyphers bring talent worth seeing on a monthly basis! The audience and performers were thoroughly impressed. After the cypher, Dani Bell & The Tarantist, a new eclectic analog trip-hop project from members of The Redwoods Music collective, wowed the crowd with an amazing performance, before Japanese DJ, Abe Shota, closed out the night with an energetic and original EDM set that had everyone in the hostel dancing and bobbing their heads.
The Return of Hostel Takeover was a great success. Hostel staff were excited to host such an all-encompassing event and we felt truly confident that we delivered our mission: To inspire a genuine understanding of people, places, and cultures to create a more tolerant world.
The next Hostel Takeover art show will be hosted on April 17th, 2016 and is already being bombarded with new artists offering to participate in the next exhibition! Book your stay with us soon, it is guaranteed to be another hit!