Local Events: Artist Reception at Fluid Coffeebar in Valparaiso, Indiana

Large crowd at Fluid Coffee Bar

Artists all over the globe try to gain exposure for their artwork through various means. This evening's artist, Phillip Herrold, is doing just that with his artist reception at Fluid Coffeebar called The Exploration and I couldn't help but come in support. His name certainly sounded familiar that made me curious if I had already met him from somewhere. Either way, the artwork he has created for his display is rather fascinating with his selection of colors depicting different moods for each piece. Apparently a lot of people agree as there was a big show up for the event. A perfect chance for me to try and deal with crowds considering my Asperger's. I was already a little worn being out the majority of the previous day.


The evening went on as more people started pouring in. I felt the need to have a good old shot of one of their special caffeine beverages. But which to choose? There were certainly numerous choices of both coffee and teas to choose from. One however intrigued me as I looked at the menu, which was a new drink for this establishment called a Voodoo Latte. It only took one sip to immediately jolt me awake to my surprise. Had numerous subtle flavors that blended rather nice as well. Not one overpowered the other.


The bar at Fluid Coffee Bar
Back seating at Fluid Coffee Bar

Fluid Coffeebar is certainly has its own style as a cafe with a more darker color scheme compared to others I have visited. You can see that immediately when you first walk through the door and be greeted by a long bar with not only a place to make your purchase, but also stool seating on the long side, like a classic saloon. A good portion of the chairs and stools looked were handcrafted. More traditional seating was available in both front and back of the place.


Speaking of that, the cafe itself has quite an open floor plan, with a raised bar that keeps a section off in which makes it feel connected yet also a separate room in and of itself. Work from local artists are hanged on the walls that vary in style that always seems to match the place. It is actually more cozy than one would think and felt right at home.


They served mainly beverages but have recently started serving meals. One of my favorite drinks that I don't see any other place in town serving is kombucha, which is a fermented tea with many health benefits. It has a little bit of a vinegary taste, but they typically come in an assortment of flavors that they change each day that helps keep it from being overpowered. I have certainly enjoyed the garlic mango, despite how strange the combo sounds at first. Don't knock it until you try it I say. 


Taking another sip of the delicious Voodoo Latte, I gazed at a specific piece of work that he had named Helix. Despite the noise of the crowd really stretching my nerves in reaching maximum capacity, I felt myself getting lost into it as I continued to try and describe what it is I feel when I look at it. How the colors were splashed on yet flowed elegantly at the same time from one shade to another in a strange harmony. I guess you could say it is how I am feeling at the moment: feeling that chaos around me and affecting me externally towards the point of strain, but internally I am going along with the flow. That despite the chaos it will eventually subside into an unknown sense of tranquility.


The Helix by Phillip Harrold hanging at Fluid Coffee Bar
Amazing artwork by Phillip Harrold

That is the thing about art though. What one piece of art can mean to one person can mean something completely different to another. Even artwork that looks to some to be a bunch of paint splattered on a canvas can actually have a deep meaning that digs deep within the soul just from the choices of colors and how it is applied. This manipulation of color is also commonly used in graphic design, especially in the advertising sector to compel consumers to purchase their product. It is why I think it is a shame that it is sorely disregarded by many people as a must for educational purposes. The arts is what helps us express our ideas and creative side that would otherwise be buried deep within. It is art that helps gives me and translates my voice better than any words that escape my lips.


One of my other favorites from his collection was hanging in the back. It looked like an outline of a lion's face or some other type of feline animal with the same mixture of vibrant colors. Maybe a baboon now that I think back looking at it. Either way, it gives a sense of raw and fierce power, yet how the colors sweep across the canvas in a smooth motion makes me less on edge as well to balance things out. It was certainly a strong piece.

I only had a very brief conversation with Phillip Herrold and the owners of the establishment before I had to leave. The noise from the crowd was finally having an effect on me and needed to step away into the cold silence outside. Once it happens, it is difficult for me to start and continue any conversation for long lengths of time, and this is from someone who doesn't talk much in the first place. That is unless it is a subject I have an abundance of knowledge and interest in. Something that is also a part of Asperger's Syndrome.

It was then that I finally recognized him from the Insight Design Conference I attended. He was one of the speakers that discussed about having a different mindset in order to accomplish anything. It was certainly great to see him again. A shame I didn't even get a chance for a selfie for this blog. Well maybe next time. I have always return to this cafe and plan to continue visiting this little cozy place in the near and far off future. Go and visit the place sometime when you are visiting downtown Valparaiso!


-Fluid Coffee Bar is located at 159 Lincolnway, Valparaiso, Indiana.

-Visit Fluid Coffee Bar's website HERE for more information.

-Interested in Phillip Harrold's work? Visit his website HERE.