Daniel Chi / Lantern photographer
Off the Grid put its attendees’ senses on high alert as art, food, drinks and music collided.
The Wexner Center for the Arts throws Off the Grid annually to raise money for Wexner Center education programs, which aim to educate grades K-12 in art, video production and writing.
“All the money raised through ticket sales and raffle tickets goes to the education program,” said Erik Pepple, community outreach and marketing manager for the Wexner Center.
Tickets were sold out and priced at $55. Raffle tickets were $10 for one or $50 for six. Prizes ranged from two American Airlines tickets to gift certificates to Columbus’ The Refectory Restaurant and Bistro.
Attendees dressed to kill for the event. Women wore dresses with heels while men donned pants with sport coats.
This year’s event was 3-D-themed with three dimensions of the Wexner Center occupied: Heirloom CafÃ©, Mershon Auditorium lobby and the black box performance space, which was set up like a nightclub. There was a giant X made out of long fringe projecting visuals by Rainer Ziehm, who goes by DJ Rainer, in the space.
The speakers made the ground vibrate as Italian New Yorker DJ Mike Simonetti played slow, melodic house beats. A crowd of about 300 danced until they took their heels and jackets off.
“I think it’s really fantastic,” Ashley Aminian, a Columbus attorney, said. “There has been a real decline in electronic music in the past 10 years, and it’s nice to at least once a year have a revival.”
Off the Grid offered a variety of musical styles. DJ Brooke LaValley played old school funk and soul in the Mershon Lobby. Rainer also provided smooth house beats mixed with old school sounds in the Mershon Lobby and the black box. DJ Patrick Hicks offered hip-hop music to partygoers in the performance space for the last hour.
The scent of lamb from Due Amici and pork from Rigsby’s Kitchen permeated the lobby.
The Herloom CafÃ© held two bars that served cocktails, wine and beer. Local restaurants provided hors d’oeuvres. Middle West Spirits hosted a tasting of OYO vodka products in the Mershon Lobby as well. The samples of vodka included OYO Honey Vanilla Bean with a vanilla finish, OYO Stone Fruit and OYO Vodka. They also offered a sample of OYO Whiskey.