IN PICTURES: ‘Hello, Welcome’ art show is ‘organized chaos at its finest’

Before Saturday night’s “Hello, Welcome” art exhibition, Ron The Killer and Edrok One posed for photos in front of their mural. Their yet-to-be-titled artwork was eventually christened with the moniker “Intestinal Oobleck.”

A sellout crowd of 800 streamed into The Icehouse Arts Complex as the evening wore on.

Edrok One was ebullient as the crowd flowed past his mural. “This show is about art from the heart of the artists. I think it was a relief for all of us to be able to put whatever the hell we wanted on these walls.”

This is the fourth, and by far the most successful, artist-organized exhibit of its kind in Long Beach. Josh Garcia, one of the main coordinators of the show, proclaimed the event to be unqualified success. The fifth floor of the Icehouse showcased 13 muralists, 25 group artist displays, five bands and a couple of DJs.

Mufasa Clarkson photographed his favorite mural.  Like several of the eclectic street art pieces at the show he termed it “organized chaos at its finest.”

Stewart Laidlaw, 66, and his wife Debbie read about the show in the Post and decided to take a drive from Bixby Knolls to check it out. The couple sat together in beach chairs and took in the swirl of art and artists around them. The former UCLA bioethics professor thought the show was fantastic.

Laidlaw surveyed his surroundings. “That all of these people were willing to climb five flights of stairs to take this in is an accomplishment in itself,” he joked.

Two hours after the doors opened the venue grew steamy. Electronica music hummed as art patrons photographed their favorite pieces. A woman from Italy compared the evening to a visit to the Guggenheim.

Edrok One surveyed the scene: “This is the kind of show that artists can put together when there are no rules. We could be as weird as we wanted. This feels good,” he said.

“This feels damn good!”

Edrok One and Ron The Killer pose in front of their mural “Intestinal Oobleck” at Hello Welcome, an artist-organized exhibition at The Icehouse Arts Complex on Saturday, January 12, 2019. Photo by Bill Alkofer, contributing photographer.

Ariana Gastelum and Sarah Kannel chat at Hello Welcome, an artist-organized exhibition at The Icehouse Arts Complex on Saturday, January 12, 2019. Photo by Bill Alkofer, contributing photographer.

Donovan Brown of Blcknoise sings a Radiohead song at the conclusion of his group’s set at Hello Welcome, an artist-organized exhibition at The Icehouse Arts Complex on Saturday, January 12, 2019. Photo by Bill Alkofer, contributing photographer.

Stewart Laidlaw and his wife Debbie take in the scene at Hello Welcome, an artist-organized exhibition at The Icehouse Arts Complex on Saturday, January 12, 2019. Photo by Bill Alkofer, contributing photographer.

Katie Oros takes a selfie at Hello Welcome, an artist-organized exhibition at The Icehouse Arts Complex on Saturday, January 12, 2019. Photo by Bill Alkofer, contributing photographer.

Leo Hendrix rests on his skateboard at Hello Welcome, an artist-organized exhibition at The Icehouse Arts Complex on Saturday, January 12, 2019. Photo by Bill Alkofer, contributing photographer.

Deshant Black and Haydar Azzouz sit at the foot of one of the art pieces at Hello Welcome, an artist-organized exhibition at The Icehouse Arts Complex on Saturday, January 12, 2019. Photo by Bill Alkofer, contributing photographer.

Elizabeth Perez poses in front of one of the murals at Hello Welcome, an artist-organized exhibition at The Icehouse Arts Complex on Saturday, January 12, 2019. Photo by Bill Alkofer, contributing photographer.

A group takes a selfie at Hello Welcome, an artist-organized exhibition at The Icehouse Arts Complex on Saturday, January 12, 2019. Photo by Bill Alkofer, contributing photographer.

A light show shines on the face of Bill Hull at Hello Welcome, an artist-organized exhibition at The Icehouse Arts Complex on Saturday, January 12, 2019. Photo by Bill Alkofer, contributing photographer.

Joe Dewald uses Stephanie Shao’s head as a tripod while photographing an art piece at Hello Welcome, an artist-organized exhibition at The Icehouse Arts Complex on Saturday, January 12, 2019. Photo by Bill Alkofer, contributing photographer.

A pitbull mix named Harper checks out the scene at Hello Welcome, an artist-organized exhibition at The Icehouse Arts Complex on Saturday, January 12, 2019. Photo by Bill Alkofer, contributing photographer.

Nat Iosbaker was part of the installation crew at Hello Welcome, an artist-organized exhibition at The Icehouse Arts Complex on Saturday, January 12, 2019. Photo by Bill Alkofer, contributing photographer.

Mufasa Clarkson photographs one of the murals at Hello Welcome, an artist-organized exhibition at The Icehouse Arts Complex on Saturday, January 12, 2019. Photo by Bill Alkofer, contributing photographer.

Nelson Magdaleno’s Lizard Queen was one of the pieces featured at Hello Welcome, an artist-organized exhibition at The Icehouse Arts Complex on Saturday, January 12, 2019. Photo by Bill Alkofer, contributing photographer.

This piece by Bodeck Luna Hernandez was one of the featured murals at Hello Welcome, an artist-organized exhibition at The Icehouse Arts Complex on Saturday, January 12, 2019. Photo by Bill Alkofer, contributing photographer.

Joey Stupor puts the finishing touches on this mural at Hello Welcome, an artist-organized exhibition at The Icehouse Arts Complex on Saturday, January 12, 2019. Photo by Bill Alkofer, contributing photographer.

Edrok One poses in front of his mural “Intestinal Oobleck” at Hello Welcome, an artist-organized exhibition at The Icehouse Arts Complex on Saturday, January 12, 2019. Photo by Bill Alkofer, contributing photographer.

Ron The Killer and Edrok One pose in front of their mural “Intestinal Oobleck” at Hello Welcome, an artist-organized exhibition at The Icehouse Arts Complex on Saturday, January 12, 2019. Photo by Bill Alkofer, contributing photographer.

Andrea Simental and Pedro Martinez chat at Hello Welcome, an artist-organized exhibition at The Icehouse Arts Complex on Saturday, January 12, 2019. Photo by Bill Alkofer, contributing photographer.

Bootleg Orchestra was one of the bands that performed at Hello Welcome, an artist-organized exhibition at The Icehouse Arts Complex on Saturday, January 12, 2019. Photo by Bill Alkofer, contributing photographer.

Nat Iosbaker painted the entrance mural at Hello Welcome, an artist-organized exhibition at The Icehouse Arts Complex on Saturday, January 12, 2019. Photo by Bill Alkofer, contributing photographer.

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Stephanie Rivera is the immigration and diversity reporter for the Long Beach Post. After graduating from CSULB with a degree in journalism, Stephanie worked for Patch Latino and City News Service before coming to the Long Beach Post in 2015.
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