The Barbarian Pop-up Shop is an event that we launched in 2019. We showcased a variety of artwork such as paintings, posters, drawings, collages, t-shirts, stickers, etc. Barbarian has always been an advocate for creating community, so we decided to invite our our close friends, family and anyone who was interested in what we were creating. We threw this event in our studio (a small basement with a few couches and a screen-printing press) and the results we were amazing amazed. A crowd of about 10-15 people showed up to the opening night and we were thrilled. It was a night full of great conversations and laughter; we could not wait to do it again.
About 6 months later we were approached by a few of our professors at Watkins College to put together a show at the Watkins Art Gallery (WAG). The WAG is located in Wedgewood Houston (Nashville, TN). On the first Saturday of every month, the Art Crawl happens there. There are 5+ galleries showcasing work from various artists and hundreds of people show up on opening night with the hope of seeing great artwork. We had attended the Art Crawl more times then we could count. We would often fantasize about one day being the guest artists in one of those gallery spaces. When the fantasy of having a show at the Art Crawl became a reality we were excited, but also a bit nervous.We had never been exposed to a crowd that big.
Since the show was going to be close to Valentine’s Day, we decided to have the theme of love and connection through the work, space, and experience . We wanted to make sure that all four members of barbarian were represented well thorough personal pieces; but also show how we could come together as a collective to create compelling and unique T-shirts . We were very critical about the kind of the pieces that we wanted to show in the event because we wanted to leave a good impression of who Barbarian was to a broader public. We created limited edition items that were exclusive to that event, and tried to come came up with the best system so that the show could run smoothly. The process of creating content for this pop-up shop was not an easy task. It took patience, organization, constant communication and a few uncomfortable moments during critique.
Opening night came. Every member of Barbarian stood in the gallery space, observing that our hard work had paid off. It was our first time ever as artists and as a brand showing in a gallery space, expecting hundreds of people to see our work. It was a vulnerable position to be in, and it became overwhelming. The gallery space filled up quickly and found ourselves backed up against the entrance wall. People were talking about the pieces, laughing and having a great time. Our shop began to look empty as people kept buying shirts. People seemed genuinely pleased with what they saw of Barbarian – some of them hoping to see more of our work in the near future. What Barbarian witnessed that night was exactly what it had envisioned from the beginning stages of the brand —To bring people together through the power of art.
We would like to thank everyone who came to the opening night to show their support for Barbarian and for what we stand for. A huge shout out to Ashley L. for her photography work, to Isaac M. for his great work in the packaging section, and to the “G” for always being there for us. See you all in the next Pop-Up Shop!