• Fri. Jun 24th, 2022

The psychedelic robot returns to Earth and opens its third facility in Plano

ByLinda W. Smith

May 27, 2022

It’s been almost two years since Psychedelic Robot launched an artistic collaboration on Dallas. Now they’ve summoned the robot for an ambitious project in The Shops at Willow Bend.

Psychedelic Robot’s third art experience opened Thursday night in Plano and features paintings in a number of different styles by eight different artists. These create a cohesive, episodic experience that allows visitors to work through an immersive graphic novel telling a story about the gallery’s titular metalhead.

“We’re blending art, technology and audio and extending the genre of storytelling,” says Psychedelic Robot founder Michael Bivins, who created the art experience with his wife, Karen. “It’s like a giant comic strip, and I think it’s a way for young people to enjoy art with things that might interest them.”

The gallery has nine surrounding works of art that unfold the psychedelic robot’s origin story in three walled rooms, with every inch of space covered in the artist’s vision. These include local names such as Armanda Aguirre, Brooklynd Turner and Ryan Stalsby. Graphic designer and graffiti artist Tex Motion created the main ‘Icon Room’ which features portraits of the story’s central characters in the middle of the exhibit. Screenwriter Douglas Scott Hessler constructed the story.

The experience, which runs through Sunday August 28, also includes two immersive works of art for guests to browse and interact with, including a “wormhole” that transports them back in time to a given moment in the story and an “epilogue room” where guests can create and control a starry night sky on a projected ceiling.

“It’s really unique and extraordinary,” says Karen Bivins. “I don’t think anything like this has ever been done before.”

Click to enlarge

Psychedelic Robot co-founder Michael Bivins takes guests through a look at the paintings that make up the robot’s origin story.

Danny Gallagher

The experience begins right outside the entrance where patrons are greeted by a life-size recreation of the psychedelic robot built by Dallas sculptor Johnney Edwards. The different rooms organized by numbers tell the story of the robot’s discovery and journey to Earth in the 1960s during the Woodstock music festival, whose message of peace and love inspires the robot to get a makeover groovy.

Meanwhile, the robot is pursued by government agents who are unsure of the hot pink being’s motives for visiting Earth. The robot is also pursued by an evil earth named Dravena who discovers Earth while pursuing the robot and sees it as a place ready to be conquered.

The entire experience is punctuated by an original soundtrack and a tale spoken by a benevolent dragon named TERRA-NOVA-X, represented by a sculpture of the giant toothy beast emerging from a wall at the start of the episode. exhibition history. The dragon serves as the story’s narrator and is voiced by renowned conductor Peter Manning, best known for his work at the Royal Opera House in London and locally as a guest conductor at the Dallas Opera.

The paintings oscillate between styles such as portraits, minimalism, comics and graffiti to offer a real variety of visual mediums.

“We really hand-picked our artists this time around,” says Karen Bivins. “We had hundreds and hundreds of submissions to involve and we chose a very small group that we felt contributed the most to the vision of this. We wanted the street artists to depict the vision in different ways and represent the characters in their own style. They are the same characters but each is done in a unique style.”

Even though the paintings in the room are done in different styles, they still merge to present an adventure story about love, peace, war and humanity because “time has no meaning in this story,” says Michael.

“At the end of the day, it’s really a metaphorical meaning of the life of love and kindness,” Michael says. “With what’s happened in the last 24 hours, it’s time to celebrate life.”

Psychedelic Robot is open in half-hour time slots between noon and 10:30 p.m. (last entry at 9:00 p.m.) on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and between 12:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. (last entry at 6:00 p.m.) on Sundays. For tickets ($26.60 – $43.70) and age restrictions, visit psychedelicrobot.com.

Click to enlarge The story of the psychedelic robot is told throughout the exhibit by a 10,000-year-old dragon named TERRA-NOVA-X voiced by famed bandleader Peter Manning.  -DANNY GALLAGHER

The story of the psychedelic robot is told throughout the exhibit by a 10,000-year-old dragon named TERRA-NOVA-X voiced by famed bandleader Peter Manning.

Danny Gallagher


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