Artlandia raises its game for Rifflandia festival

Artlandia’s grand opening, Sept. 7 at 517 Pandora St.

Joey MacDonald

Joey MacDonald kneads his rainbow-stained hands methodically through a seafoam blue paint batch, carefully removing the remaining lumps from his latest concoction.

He stands in a second-floor loft space on Fisgard Street, where he and his colleagues operate the Olio Collective, a space that spawns much of the visual art for the Rifflandia festival.

“Rifflandia has been around for five years and they’ve always had some kind of art component,” MacDonald said. “Artlandia is that art component.”

Stacks of unique prints and plastic paint jars cover the room’s only table, an organized chaos that hints at last-minute preparations for Artlandia’s grand opening, Sept. 7 at 517 Pandora St.

“This last year we pitched Rifflandia with a bunch of ideas for art installations that were very visual, very interactive and that incorporated local artists,” MacDonald said.

The Live!Stock poster show, where 15 artists create unique screenprint posters for 15 Rifflandia performers, is one of three exhibits that will be revealed today at the Rifflandia headquarters.

The second display, Headspace, allows onlookers the chance to be a part of the piece by placing their faces into the artwork. It was a huge hit at last year’s festival.

Lastly, the R&A Line is a 1/4-scale five-car train. Each car is assigned to different artists to create a completely unique interactive art installation, including a car by Scott Smith that plays music and reacts to movement.

“Based on how you move, you’ll be able to manipulate the music itself and visually see how it impacts the EQ (equalization),” MacDonald said.

After Friday’s grand opening, the train and Headspace exhibits will be shown at Royal Athletic Park for the duration of Rifflandia, Sept. 13 to 16. For more information, visit



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