I was chit-chatting with Josh Kennard over PBRs in the poolroom at Benny's, when he walked to the wall to hang a small painting. Once it was properly placed, he walked back to the table and continued the conversation.
"What was that?" I interrupted.
"What was what?" he said.
"That. You put a painting on the wall."
"Oh. Yeah, I do that sometimes."
And so began my introduction the Rogue Art Project. Simply put, Kennard displays his colorful, modern abstract paintings in various coffee shops, bars and venues around town, but not necessarily with the owners' consent. See something on the wall or in the bathroom stall that doesn't quite fit with the neon-and-Billy-Bass dcor? Chances are, you've spotted one of Kennard's paintings.
Kennard started the project about 16 months ago, when he became fascinated with the idea of geocaching, an adventure game that's gaining popularity in cities. It amounts to a modern-day treasure hunt using GPS. (Check out geocaching.com.) Ultimately, Kennard would like the Rogue Art Project to be a series of 52 paintings that interested hunters would seek out around town.
A painter and stencil artist, he whips up small pieces that will blend into a given venue. Then, he looks for available nails on which to hang his work he doesn't want to alter the structure of the building, or be accused of destruction of property.
It's a project seemingly for the disenfranchised. Yet Kennard isn't lacking for display space; he's co-owner of the downtown art gallery Rubbish and owner of Olde World Bagel & Deli, where a few of his paintings are on display.
Rogue Art Project sightings
311 N. Tejon St., 228-6566
Thunder & Buttons II
2415 W. Colorado Ave., 447-9888
517 W. Colorado Ave., 634-9309