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The Verve: Hopped Up boasts array of local artists

On Sept. 6, the parking lot surrounding Hopped Up Brewing Co., 10421 E. Sprague Ave., will be filled with art and music while glasses fill with beer brewed on site.

The first Hopped Up on Art, Music and Beer Festival happened last year, and its success motivated organizer Jesse Swanson to make it an annual event.

“Last year the response was amazing,” he said. “This year, it will be bigger.”

Fellow organizer Amanda Sue Ewan concurs. “It’s going to be epic.”

This year’s event will feature twice as many artists, vendors and musicians. It will include a 40-foot mobile art gallery from Ink to Media and vendors offer handmade, one-of-a-kind clothing, accessories and natural products. There will also be food vendors including Azars. Entertainment will include live art demonstrations and a full lineup of local musicians.

“When the sun goes down, there will be fire dancers,” Swanson said.

Painter and jewelry designer Becky Anderson, 29, is returning this year to the festival.

“I love the creativity that flows through me. I cherish and embrace who I am and challenge myself to grow not only as an artist but as a loving human being,” she said. “I love my fellow artists and to be invited to be a part of such a great event is an honor.”

At the event, Anderson will offer embellished sunglasses, jewelry and a selection of mixed media paintings. She will also be brandishing a paintbrush, demonstrating her techniques until the sun goes down.

Missy McGillicuddy, 21, will show a collection of nature-inspired acrylic and mixed media paintings as well as some experimental ink and watercolor drawings.

“I’m an artist because art is the one thing in life that I’ve never really had to deliberately work at or think about,” McGillicuddy said. “It comes out of me naturally, almost like my hands and my mind communicate without me consciously knowing it and create something that is truly a part of myself.”

JP Fuller, 25, used mixed media on wood or canvas in a mix of abstract, surrealism, and what he calls rhythmic vision.

“I’m a guy that likes to spend my time throwing some color around,” Fuller said. “I feel like I have always created art compulsively; inspiration hits out of nowhere. You lock into that creative zone and nothing else matters.”

At Hopped Up, he will be exhibiting some large acrylic paintings, as well as a series of color prints, priced to make local art accessible to the public.

Many of the participants are only beginning their creative endeavors and others are seasoned but they all have the same goal; to share their creations.

“I enjoy life because I do what I love,” Anderson said. “I like to spread joy in the little things and that includes bringing art to the community. It connects us.”