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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Heap Collective pulls artistic talent from Tucson together

    Art is a universal language, fundamental and particular to a community. Tucson, host to artistic expression and talent of all degrees, is regaining its voice with the aid of three local artists.

    Matt Baquet, Joie Estrella and Claire Mirocha founded Heap Collective, a cooperative for the gathering of Tucson artists and inventors to express their ideas, work and voice in an innovative environment.

    “People are doing it all over the place; many people gather together to promote one great cause, which is getting your art out there, which everyone is trying to do in the same space,” said Baquet, Heap’s music director.

    Two years ago, Baquet started a collective in Seattle which gave rise to the notion itself. After moving to Tucson and forming the shoegaze act Dream Sick, Baquet began forming the musical foundation for Heap Collective. From this idea and a desire to provide Tucson artists and free thinkers with a space that nurtures creative efforts.

    “I think Heap started mostly from us just wanting to have a better outlet for people, and ourselves, and for the community,” Estrella said. “We didn’t really know what it was until it formed, and it’s still forming.”

    This outlet is telling of the volume of creative potential their collective has stumbled upon. Heap Collective held its first show in January in an empty Peach Property space downtown, featuring 20 artists and five bands.

    Heap Collective’s approach to gallery showing uses non-traditional and temporary spaces, giving art enthusiasts a break from the white wall gallery setting. The result is a much livelier, accessible event for all.

    “Tucson is capable of having good talent and interesting people and actually just fun things to do,” Estrella said. It’s Heap that strives to create the means, eradicating the notion that there is nothing to do in Tucson.

    Heap is interactive and explosive. The energy it exudes is a reflection of its founders’ efforts. Their next event, this Saturday, should exemplify such creative collaboration. With over 30 local artists, two album releases, three DJ’s, a visiting band and local merchants, Heap is fostering a celebration of creative energy.

    “I think the bottom line is, Tucson is actually pretty legit. There’s a million people here, there’s room to do big things and no one’s doing anything,” Baquet said.

    Heap is not only a cause for the sharing and expansion of the arts by local artists; it also makes a stand for Tucson’s community by supporting its creative minds. There is a desire beneath their happy-go-lucky vibe for Tucson to be an open space for creative thought.

    “This is [where] literally anyone with an idea can come to us and it’s not just art and it’s not just a music show. It’s not just people selling vintage clothes. It’s none of those things,” Mirocha said.

    Rather, it’s an outlet for expression, an age old concept with a new voice fueled by bringing local artists together.

    “The only thing that ties it together is that nothing ties it together,” Mirocha said. “We’re just collecting what we find to one place, into a big heap.”

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