The name says it all– at Rainbow Hugs and Kisses: a Doomsday Celebration, Secret Project Robot will start saying their goodbyes to the neighborhood they’ve called home for the last five years. On Wednesday, July 13 (7 pm to 10 pm) the DIY venue will open the final art show at its current location with festivities and hopefully some booty-shaking to coronate what the SPR community’s calling a “magical realm.”
The venue’s departure isn’t exactly a surprising one, but it’s no less heartbreaking, considering the prominent place it has held in the DIY scene over the years– the owners are dynamic husband-and-wife duo Rachel Nelson and Erik Zajaceskowski, artists themselves who’ve set up and torn down various locations for their shapeshifting “robot” mission since 1998. But the closing is tragic beyond the fact that it’s just another DIY spot heading to the graveyard– SPR has made a truly special and important community space where artists and people of all kinds can feel at home.
“Rainbow Hugs and Kisses” will include a massive mural painted by a slew of local artists including Wizard Skull, Killer Acid, Laura Perez-Harris, and Greg Fox (one-half of Fox Millions Duo, and the drummer for Liturgy). Given the talent, it’s definitely gonna be a wild one. A “psychedelic rainbow playground” will grace the center of the gallery, which we’re so hoping means they’re erecting a slip n’ slide slicked down with beer that carries brave travelers to a kiddie pool filled with rainbow Jell-O shots. Why? Well, because we can’t imagine anything better in this world. But this is Secret Project Robot we’re talking about here, so it’s probably gonna be even crazier than that.
Entertainment will be provided by the Sunshine Family Circle, a folky psych performance outfit, and the space is getting even more decking-out with help from anyone and everyone who’s willing to make some “hanging rainbow art” this weekend. Even if you who can’t draw a cat to save your life but have a big ol’ heart you’re willing to share, you can still help with the crafting effort this Sunday evening, July 10 from “7 – 10ish” at SPR’s sister bar, Flowers For All Occasions (1114 DeKalb Avenue). Maybe bring some markers or something.
And don’t forget that starting tonight (8 pm to midnight and running all through the weekend, is a mini theater fest and backyard BBQ we told you about last week. For just $10, you’ll be treated to two original (in creation and content) productions, Germany, 1933 and Strange Fire, from a pair of Brooklyn-born indie production collectives, Psychic Readings Co. and Saints of an Unnamed Country— the latter’s based at another beloved, bitty DIY venue Bohemian Grove.
All in all, the final show is going to be Secret Project to a T– a kaleidoscopic array of raw imagery and napalm-level energy, all informed by an inclusive, punk ethos and countercultural existence that has nothing to do with trying to be cool– instead, it just is cool. It’s the kind of spirit that you can’t fake and will never be bought and sold. And since everyone’s so chill, feel free to let the waterworks flow freely, it’s gonna be a bittersweet affair. But as SPR has said, the show “will be a reminder of the other side of the rainbow, the pot of gold you get for putting love into every action.” Hold fast, it’s not time to cry just yet. Stay tuned for Secret Project Robot’s next iteration– until then, the Bushwick art scene will be one step closer to Lamesville without these guys.
Secret Project Robot is located at 389 Melrose Street, Bushwick.