Artspace, located at 20 Terry Street, held its grand opening last summer with the goal of attracting artists to Patchogue Village. This series introduces you to some of the talented faces behind its doors.
Aaron Grant Lipski
Patch: What is your art, and how long have you been doing it?
Grant Lipski: My craft is beatboxing, the art of using your mouth, throat, tongue, and lips to create music, with no instruments. It's gained some more recognition in the past years, but I'd like to make it more mainstream.
I've been 'beatboxing' since I was literally a kid. Maybe… 5 or 6? I realized that I could make a beat and hum at the same time (which for some people is incredibly difficult), and honestly thought I was AMAZING. I thought I was going to change the game of beatboxing, and become famous. Then the Internet became more available and I saw a REAL beatboxer (Kenny Muhammed if anyone is interested), and that kind of shut me up.
After that I don't honestly remember 'practicing' so-to-speak, I would just try to emulate the music I was listening to. I'm mostly a fan of alternative rock music, so I think that helped with my unique style, but a couple of years later someone said “You're really good, why don't you come to an open mic?” And the rest is history.
Patch: What drew you to Artspace?
Grant Lipski: What wouldn't? Times are tough, so the low-cost living is beautiful. And the building is brand new, and beautifully designed. I love my home!
But really, It was just a 'perfect storm'. I was looking to move out, and this amazing building popped up not too far away, and it was for artists. It was kind of a no-brainer.
And the community is something else entirely. Everyone greets everyone else. Everyone helps, is curious about what each other is doing, and stays connected all the time (Facebook has been a great help). That sense of community isn't very common, and it makes for an organic, fresh experience here. And the knowledge that no matter what you do art-wise, there WILL be people there to support you, lets you have confidence in what you do.
Patch: What benefits have you found by living in an artist community?
Grant Lipski: The events we put together are a blast, and again, the sense of togetherness. It's a new building, and a new community, so I think there are some natural 'growing pains' that happen every now and then, but ultimately you know you have something in common with the person next door, no matter where you are. Its pretty amazing.
The different disciplines of art are really interesting and stimulating as well. From glass fixture art, pottery, fine art, and beatboxing, I think it's safe to say we're a pretty diverse group. It keeps things exciting.
Patch: What is your favorite aspect of living in the Patchogue area?
Grant Lipski: It's recent turnaround. I lived in Bayport for all of my life, and saw what Patchogue was like around the millennium, and the contrast of that to today is incredible. I think it all started with the getting re-done, but every time I look around there's a new bar, store, deli, and apparently Artist Buildings! It's constantly developing and moving, which is a huge change from the stagnant Patchogue I once knew.
The bars are bringing a nightlife to Patchogue, and the restaurants are bringing an afternoon crowd. To turn the economy of an area around in a short time, I don't think there's a better way.
Patch: What are your future goals?
Grant Lipski: Madison Square Garden? Haha! That'd be great, but I just started a website, www.BeatboxRevolution.com, which I'd love to develop into a site where beatbox enthusiasts can gather. I want to teach people how to do this incredibly fun artform, and also collect videos and audio of the beatboxers from around the world, so you can also just watch whats going on in the world of beatboxing.
I'd also love to start a podcast, in which I'll interview the famous beatboxers from around the world, and perhaps collaborate with them? Who knows?
Patch: Where can people see more of your work?
Grant Lipski: Beatboxrevolution.com is the place. I'm uploading media there almost daily, and focusing on getting some solid videos up there of my competition in the . I'm hoping to get a high quality vid of the whole experience, from mic check to hopefully winning first (Editorial note: Grant Lipski went on to win the talent show following this interview. ). I think that would be really interesting for others.