Artopia 2011 Was the Crème Brulée of the Crop

The 2011 running of Artopia was an eye-stroking spectacle. Aside from the distinguished locals in all matters of semi-formal wear sipping cucumber-enhanced Hendrick's Gin, the crowd was pleasantly dotted with some of the area's most creative minds -- and we're not just talking about the New Times staff!

Inside Delray Beach Italian restaurant hotspot Il Bacio, the main attraction was Erin Barylski, a body-paint gymnast who tossed herself all over a large spread of floor for her art. Every so often a shirtless man carrying a tray of hors d'œuvres would pass by, and these gents seemed to be popular even when their edible offerings had disappeared. As for Kill Miss Pretty frontwoman Alicia Olink, she opted for much more modest attire than when we saw her on Valentine's Day.

The opulent garden, bar, lounge and stage area out back proved to be an even greater stir of bacchanalian delights. From the displays set up by the 12 MasterMinds finalists, to the crème brulée stand, to the fashion show onstage and in the crowd, as one bespectacled attendee said, "The mix brewing in my stomach is as strange as the mix outside of it."

County Grind pals the IWAN Bubble got to share in a victory as they were named one of the night's $1,000 Master Minds recipients for the evening by New Times Broward Palm Beach publisher Anthony Gordon.

Through an eight-song set, UEGT balanced twang from area impresario Ryan Alexander on lead guitar and a wide range of expressive moments by Brunjes. 

During the second-to-last song, "The Postcard Place," he encouraged everyone in the place to look up from their Sailor Jerry and get into the rock show. Moments later, a cover of the Beatles "Twist and Shout" rustled up the disco infiltrating tendencies of the audience, which was a satisfying way to wrap up the night.

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