Celebrating life through art

SawTown Tavern celebrated First Friday and Pride Month on June 7 with their featured artists.

Showing their pride: SawTown Tavern recently celebrated First Friday and Pride Month with featured artists. Shelby Dobbins, a queer artist, showcased laser-etched acrylic mirrors as a way of challenging the viewer to take a good look at themselves. LOGAN KRUM / TIMES PHOTO

SawTown Tavern celebrated First Friday and Pride Month on June 7 with its featured artists.

Looking at their reflection in the mirror, Shelby Dobbins is happy with the reflection. Dobbins designs mirrors utilizing laser cutters to etch patterns onto the piece. They said they like creating interactive pieces using technology.

“Since everyone’s always looking at themselves in the mirror, and I’m always looking for more interactive art,” they said. “I wanted to give people the opportunity to be a little different than just looking in the mirror and taking a selfie.”

Dobbins designs the patterns on the computer and laser-cutting equipment will etch the pattern into the mirrored acrylic within a few minutes. Displayed on the walls at the tavern, the mirrors feature symmetrical lines as a way to both entertain the viewer and challenge them to take a longer look.

“I spent hours looking at myself and feel, you know, being trans, disconnected or connected to my body, so in the design [of the mirrors] obscuring some of the images is definitely tied in with that,” they said.

Dobbins also dabbles with robotics and is creating an animatronic band that will play their own instruments.

The First Friday celebration also featured belly dancer Gabrielle Joella, who performed two dances, the latter of which featured a scimitar. Charles Tyson Jr., who works at the tavern, gave humorous advice set to dance music, imploring listeners to read books and think independently. ••

Gabrielle Joella performed some belly dancing for the crowd at SawTown Tavern for First Friday.
Charles Tyson Jr. offered some sage advice set to funky music for First Friday, including “read an [expletive] book.”