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Monday, June 24, 2024

Not many artists can say they have had Jack White as a critic.

A Gainesville art trio can. While recently displaying artwork in New York, they had a run-in with the former White Stripes singer.

Felici Asteinza, Evan Galbicka and Joey Fillastre are artists who specialize in painting, sculpture, collage and mural at The Church of Holy Colors gallery in downtown Gainesville. Holy Colors is not a church, but the intensity of creating in the space can be a spiritual feeling for those involved.

The three artists of Holy Colors met the newly solo White while painting a mural on a large fence outside of the Brooklyn gallery where they were displaying their art. White, who was in town for the funeral of Beastie Boys member Adam “MCA” Yauch, walked out of the gallery, saw them and joked, “Damn graffiti kids,” but stuck around for a bit to chat and admire their work.

“You can tell he is really passionate about his projects — it’s inspiring,” Asteinza said.

That wasn’t their first exhibition and will not be their last. They have been on an unofficial art tour, recently setting up displays in Manhattan and Jacksonville. They are heading to Miami at the end of June and New Orleans in October.

“Ever since we got this space two years ago, we’ve been dreaming about traveling to these places,” Galbicka said.

Though the artists’ themes and styles are ever-changing, they have completed Florida themed paintings, psychedelic murals, thought provoking collages and large tree sculptures. Many of their paintings have so many acrylic layers that the paint protrudes from the canvas and creates a 3-D sculpture effect.

The artists will continue to defy typical art norms when they travel to Miami to create and display art with their new themes, which use donated ropes and animals bones.

“Ropes really work with painting,” Asteinza said. “It’s a way to physically get away from the painting and create some space.”

The art will be displayed June 24 to 28 in the Freedom Tower in downtown Miami, part of Miami Dade College. The artists will partner with different musicians who will play during the creation process. The music will be recorded and played back during the display period.

“It’s going to be an intensive creation process during that week,” Galbicka said. “Everything will be made on-site.”

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In addition, the artists recently raised more than $8,500 on Kickstarter, an online fundraising platform, to begin converting an old school bus into an eco-friendly touring vehicle that can run on old vegetable oil. Galbicka said they eventually want a whole fleet of buses to house touring artists and musicians.

“Portal culture is what we’ve been calling it,” Galbicka added.

They are currently looking for the bus and have commissioned a friend to begin converting it as soon as it’s purchased.

The artists said they enjoy the traveling but also look forward to getting back to Gainesville.

“We’re trying to get more involved with the community — that’s really important to us,” Asteinza said.

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