One Night Stand
Oxford’s unique art expo returns
Story by Madison HillPhotos by Carlyle Wolfe
Arts & Culture | Art | October 2013
What do you see when you imagine an art show? Do you see a clean, white-walled gallery? Do you see guests tiptoeing across the shiny floors amongst the frames, silently admiring the art that inhabits them?That is not what Erin Abbott saw when she envisioned the One Night Stand Art Show. In her mind, she saw guests — anybody and everybody who wanted to come — listening to live music and wandering between the rooms of the Ole Miss Motel, maybe a cold beer in hand, being wowed by the unique work exhibited. “It kind of turns into a part parking lot party, part art show,” laughs Abbott, the show’s creator and curator.Her vision became a reality in 2007, when Abbott found ten artists willing to show their work and be a part of the very first One Night Stand Art Show. The show was such a success that March that Abbott put it on again in October, then took the show to Los Angeles in 2008, where she drew a crowd of more than 1,000 people. Abbott came back to Oxford the next year and the show has been held annually at the Ole Miss Motel ever since. “It’s never all of one thing,” says Abbott. “I spend all year looking for new artists to bring to town or find artists here. It’s not just about being a local artist. It’s also about bringing people to this town that I love so much. I just see it as one big party of introducing people, I guess.”One of this year’s artists, Lamar Sorrento, has participated in the show several times because he says it’s “like a carnival.” The Memphis native’s work is extremely popular, especially in Oxford, and the One Night Stand Art Show is now the only show he does all year. “The motel show is the greatest,” says Sorrento. “They should have one of those in every city, like once or twice a year.”Sorrento, who is a professional artist, did not originally set out to be one. The musician said that he wanted some paintings of bands and artists that he liked, so one day, he just decided to paint them himself and he’s been doing it ever since. “If you want to be an artist, it’s just a gamble if people will like what you do. That’s just the way it is,” says Sorrento. “I didn’t think anybody would like my paintings, but people started buying them pretty quick and liked them a lot. I don’t know why, cause I thought they were awful. But I liked them even though they were awful.”Another artist for this year’s show, Adrienne Brown, has attended the show for several years now, but will be a first-time participant. The mother of four will be showing her impressionist paintings in this year’s show. “One Night Stand is different because, well, the environment in itself is different,” says Brown. “It’s like going to 10 or 12 totally independent art shows all at one time as opposed to a group show in one setting, where it all pretty much looks the same, it’s the same food and the same sort of vibe. In each individual room, it’s like going to a new show.”Brown’s love for art started when she was three years old and is still going strong today. The St. Louis native has been showing and selling her art throughout her life, while she was living in St. Louis, then when she lived in the Virgin Islands, and today living in Oxford. “I love Erin (Abbott). Erin’s got a great eye for style and design, and what’s cool — she has a great eye for that. This is definitely her vision and I’m totally excited that she chose me to be a part of it.”Two artists, Kate and Laura Roebuck, are returning to the show this year — Kate for a third time and Laura for the second time. The sisters-in-law shared a motel room in the show their first year, but will be exhibiting separately for this year’s show. “I’m a little bit more modern and contemporary and she’s a little bit more of an impressionist in her style. She’s incredibly talented,” says Kate of her own art and her sister’s. “We have different styles but at the same time, we’re also in conversation with one another about our art, so it’s really neat to see pieces of her and me, and pieces of me and her as far as our artwork goes.”Before they moved to Lookout Mountain, Georgia, both couples lived in Oxford, where they befriended Abbott and attended her show for the first time.“I really admire her process. She’s incredibly motivated, which I am not,” says Laura of Abbott. “But she’s also so sweet. She’s one of the nicest people I know so I think everybody who gets to be a part of it loves to work with her. She makes it really easy and fun”The One Night Stand Art Show is adored by the people of Oxford, drawing a crowd of around 700 each year. The show will be held at the Ole Miss Motel on October 5 from 7-10 p.m. More information on the show is available at Abbott’s website, ameliapresents.com.