Keeper of the Plans

Artists would like five minutes of your time in this funky camper Sunday

Ellen Crispin with "Galactic Yawp," a camper that's been transformed into a multisensory art experience. It premieres Sunday at Vortex Souvenir.
Ellen Crispin with "Galactic Yawp," a camper that's been transformed into a multisensory art experience. It premieres Sunday at Vortex Souvenir. The Wichita Eagle

Ellen Crispin's psychedelic painted camper is the talk of her College Hill block.

Kids love the camper, which looks like something out of "Scooby Doo." Adults moreso wonder why it's in her backyard, she said with a laugh.

Though it looks like the Mystery Machine on the outside, there's a mystery to be solved inside the camper — dubbed "Galactic Yawp."

"It depends on what you view solving a mystery as," Crispin said. "It's more about understanding the mystery versus solving it. ... It's very abstract."

Eleven local artists have collaborated to create Galactic Yawp, a multisensory art experience that will debut from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday at Vortex Souvenir, 1640 E. 2nd.

$5 admission grants you five minutes in the camper, where you'll be subjected to various sights, sounds, smells and textures — all part of the experience, Crispin said.

The mystery to understand: "On the edge of what would one day become the Fungus Quarantine Zone, a family on a camping trip disappeared. Unravel the mystery of their vanishing in an immersive and interactive experience."

"It's like you're in the set of a movie, almost — the story is happening around you," Crispin said. "In five minutes most people will probably be very overwhelmed by all their options to take in, which is so funny because it's a small camper, but there's a lot of stuff going on in there."

The project was spearheaded by Crispin and well-known local performance artists Meghan Miller and Hallie Linnebur. They won $550 from the crowdfunding ICT Soup dinner last month and have spent that money making needed modifications to the camper.

Prior to being transformed into Galactic Yawp, the camper sat at Mike and Meghan Miller's Towanda house for about 12 years, Crispin said. Another artist was using it as storage.

After Sunday's premiere at Vortex Souvenir, Crispin said she plans on taking Galactic Yawp to other venues and possibly to a gallery for this month's Final Friday.

Crispin said she hopes people will be willing to pay $5 to go through the camper.

"A big part of our concept, besides making really cool art things, is just that by working together, maybe we can make more sustainable art experiences," Crispin said. "The concept of art being free is very prevalent, even though it takes a lot of time and effort to do something like this."

Artists that collaborated on the project include Ellen and Adam Crispin, Hallie Linnebur, Mike and Meghan Miller, Torin Andersen, Ian Blume, Erin Raux, Armando Minjarez, and David and Lindsay Lord.

Walk-ups are welcome, but to ensure you can get into the trailer, make reservations at www.galacticyawp.com.

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