On Saturday at midnight, nine local artists locked themselves in a vacant downtown apartment with the goal to produce three or more works in 12 hours. The result was the Fr3sh 12-hour Lock-In, an exhibition of the art created during the voluntary incarceration.

The show began precisely 17 hours later at 5 p.m. Five dollars at the door got you a kiss-shaped stamp on your hand and access to all the ingredients needed for a high quality rage. The guys from Street Foods were cooking made-to-order Dan Dan noodles and traditional Persian kabobs in their cart outside the Pitt Street house. Inside and upstairs, live DJs spun trendy house jams as bartenders served rum punch and keg beer to some of Charleston’s most interesting and ambitious scenesters.

But what made the event was the art, of course. Each of the artists had the products of their half-day incarceration displayed on the exposed wood, attic-like walls. Some favorites were Spike Kittrell’s four-eyed Michael Jackson and the spray-painted piece by Bennett Goodman, made from old computer parts. Joanna Jackson immortalized the late Rutledge Coffee and Cream with a painting of the Dead Head-friendly, organic food restaurant. Max Miller had 50 watercolor prints hanging in a back room. Downstairs in the lounge, local Renaissance man of sorts Marcus Amaker made partygoers scream “Passion!” during the stanza breaks of his live poetry readings.

But all in all, between the platters of hummus and loads of innovative art, the Fr3sh lock-in was one of those rare events that reinforced the promise of progressive culture in Charleston — an offbeat celebration of the power of collaboration in captivity.

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