Arts & Entertainment

Pancakes and Booze: Not Your Typical Local Art Show

If you’re looking for a deliciously irreverent way to celebrate disruptive newcomers to the art scene, look no further than The Pancakes & Booze Art Show, which comes to D.C. on November 16. The event, held at Hook Hall (3400 Georgia Ave. NW, Washington, D.C.), runs from 7:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. and features over 100 all-media exhibits from a diverse group of fresh and innovative artists.

“If a fine art exhibit is like an upscale nightclub, we’re the dive bar,” says Pancakes & Booze founder and creator Tom Kirlin, who says the show is a unique offering you can’t find anywhere else.

“It’s the least pretentious thing you can go to,” Kirlin continued.

Pancakes & Booze exploded onto the Los Angeles art scene in May 2009, quickly expanding into other cities, including D.C. for over a decade of now-quarterly return visits to Our Nation’s Capital, which Kirlin says is one of their biggest markets.

Within five years. a “crushed and exhausted” Kirlin hired his first full-time staff — and then his second — and then his third. Kirlin’s team of just under ten people, including six ground-level team members, now run 60 of the wildly popular events annually across 40+ cities in North America and Europe.

In total, Kirlin and his team have held over 500 iterations (and counting) of the pop-up over its nearly 14 years in existence.

The Pancakes & Booze website pulls no punches when describing its revolutionary nature. “This ain’t no snoozefest, highfalutin art show for the elite.” the site proclaims, calling for interested artists to “unleash their raw talent in an anything goes, free-for-all environment.” Artists and vendors participating in the event are limited only by space restrictions and legal requirements.

Pancakes & Booze features table vendors and artists showcasing all types of canvas paintings, prints, sculptures, crafts, jewelry, clothing, baked goods, and beyond. Artists are also able to perform live — including full-body painting, canvas painting, caricatures, and more.

“We encourage it.” Kirlin says of the unique nature of each exhibit. “That’s the thing that’s unique about this event. If you are a well-established artist, this is not the show for you.

A platform for young and up-and-coming artists to exhibit and be part of a community of artists — that’s the mission.”

The creative energy at Pancakes & Booze may give you as much of a buzz as the sugar and drinks. “You get all walks, all skill levels, hard to find [art]… this great amount of diversity and different styles in one room.” says Kirlin. “It creates an awesome vibe.” The show draws a young, hip, diverse crowd of art-loving individuals wherever it goes, and D.C. is no exception.

Tickets to the 21+ event start at $10 and include free unlimited pancakes (with all the fixin’s) and access to the gallery, which features a live D.J. and cash bar until midnight. Artist/exhibitor registration is now open, as are admission ticket sales — both available at