“Doing things that no one else is doing, I think that’s what we gravitate to,” said Gem Hotvet explaining to me how K23 Gallery went about choosing bands for their anniversary show. “I like to find [musicians] that are really at the top of their game.”
This Saturday, K23 Gallery will be celebrating two years of bringing eclectic performances and shows for those of all ages to enjoy with a stacked lineup that includes Houston experimental band Studded Left (formally known as Indian Jewelry); Al Love of San Francisco who makes the trippiest beats and remixes; Austinites Black Liquid Drop with a drone so loud they’ll make your entire body feel heavy; and the best of San Antonio’s grass roots psych Shiva’s Medicine Chest and Flower Jesus with DJ tunes from Dorris Melton and Dulang Dulang.
The stellar line up is complimented with visual light shows from Calico Club and LIGHT BEAMS Entertainment.
“There’s an excerpt from the book that the gallery is named after (Jitterbug Perfume) where this guy is making a speech to a perfumer’s convention,” Gem continued. “‘There a point where science and art converge upon one another.’ Science is on such an elevated level that it becomes art and art is done on such an elevated level that it becomes scientific in its precision, and I want to find people at that point, the people that are realizing their vision and executing it perfectly.”
A great foundation to build upon for a DIY space in the midst of a music scene doing the very same. Gem and Glenn Hotvet, K23 space owner/operators/husband and wife, opened the doors of K23 two years ago with the intention of opening an art gallery that could be used as a space for shows, after some memorable acts it became evident that the main hat K23 was wearing, apart from home for Glenn and Gem, was music venue brining in some of the most ‘out there’, eclectic and interesting varieties of music. They have hosted anything from Golden Dawn Arkestra, a psychedelic collective with over eight members to one woman show Collen Green and has been a great platform that presented many opportunities for local bands. Having it accessible for all ages was very important for them after growing up with the White Rabbit, a space they had an emotional connection with.
“That’s my goal, that’s what I want to do, I want to put music in people’s hearts and to give people this experience and to say, ‘No you can’t come in because you’re not old enough’, you’re defeating a huge segment of people who are going to go and connect with something else instead,” said Gem after sharing stories of their most recent shows where there was a pair of 13 year old boys were experiencing their first rock n’ roll show and another where there was a four year old child dancing around.
Where their first year was a learning experience and a journey, Gem explained that the second was all about finding solutions, solving problems in a positive and productive way. This past year was also a year of milestones in which Glenn expressed how much he enjoyed having Phoenix band Destruction Unit, a band as loud as bands come and won’t even consider a venue under a sound ordinance and Gem hosted her dream act, Gary Wilson who she said was the first person she ever emailed to perform at K23.
What makes K23 special apart from the drive and kindness that come from two people who dedicate their time and home space, is their attention to detail, making improvements for convenience where they see needed. They just most recently (with a little help from their friends) built a stage to make the band more visible to the audience and just recently set up a ticket service to allow you to purchase tickets online or by card with minimum to no outrageous service fee and isn’t stopping there.
No stranger to partnering with local beer companies to provide free beer to patrons 21 years old +, K23 Gallery is taking it up a notch and will have their first cash bar equipped with liquor after partnering with Paper Tiger owner Chad Carey at their two year anniversary show and hopefully for future shows as well as they continue to look for a new location for the venue to accommodate the larger than life artists they bring through.
Thank you K23 for what you do for our music community and for all of those who just enjoy music period.