The Colors and Chords experience.

Last night nonprofit Islands of Brilliance hosted Colors and Chords, an event where visual artists use local bands as on-the-spot inspiration for a mostly packed room. Advertising folks, artists, and designers milled by the Turner Hall Ballroom bar or sat at small lounge-type tables to hear standouts like Testa Rosa, which was paired with David Mark Zimmerman (who also runs design shop Bigshot Robot); and Marielle Allschwang, whose tender vocals found harmony with the dots and dashes from John Kowalczyk’s brush. Field Report’s Chris Porterfield performed with Argopelter, while James Carlson went to work on the easel, and Volcano Choir’s Jon Mueller and Chris Roseneau played the background track for Cynthia Thomas. Nineteen Thirteen played for Pamela M. Anderson, The Exotics inspired Jeff Redmon’s intensely colored design, Panalure played for Melissa Dorn Richards, and Light Music backed the very appropriate work of Bass Structures, whose cell-like paintings have been created by sound waves.

The Colors and Chords scene. Photo by Nicole Domanico.

The Colors and Chords scene. Photo by Nicole Domanico.

The artists used what looked like oil paint on canvas easels, and their work was projected on a screen behind the stage for all to watch. The works were eventually raffled off, and all of the proceeds, including ticket sales, went to Islands of Brilliance, which pairs designers with children on the autism spectrum.

The mood in the purple-tinted room was relaxed and not raucous, but some of the loudest applause followed the short film Baba and Jake, which told the story of the latter, who participates in Islands of Brilliance’s classes. In the film, Jake (and his mother) adorably illustrates how the classes and interactions with his designer mentor have helped him build confidence and social skills. A creative approach to learning, indeed.