Jennifer Russo

Imagine that there are colorful creatures living among us as we go about our daily lives – passing us on the street as we walk to work in the morning, stopping to sniff a flower in Elm Park, getting a little frisky at a boudoir shoot, or crowd surfing over our heads at a concert. Creatures that don’t look like us but are just like us – looking to have a great time living this thing called life.

Peer into the minds of local artists as they give you their interpretations of what this might look like. The walls of Electric Haze (celebrating its 10th anniversary this year) will come alive with visions into this imaginative world we share with the Creatures of Worcester. 

“The idea was born out of Covid boredom,” says Chris Michelotti, an artist and the show’s curator and planner.

“During the pandemic, I really got into watching shows and movies that combined live action with animated characters, like Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Mary Poppins. I started to digitally draw in creatures into different photos like stills in one of these movies. Some other artists and I connected – because I am completely okay being that weird guy reaching out to people on social media – and we built this show from the ground up,” Chris says.

The first show, held in 2021, featured art by Chris, George Annan, Grhimm Xavier and Luke Therien. Electric Haze hosted the show as a service to the community in support of local artists, but the show took on a life of its own with an incredible turnout. It did so well that Electric Haze offered Chris the opportunity to continue to run art shows at their venue, with two Creatures of Worcester shows in 2022 and the next one on August 4th of this year.

“Each show has its own unique idea behind the photography the creatures are integrated into, because I want each show to be a cohesive world that these creatures are a part of,” says Chris. “The first show was street photography, the second was nature, and the third was boudoir photography. This year, our creatures are infiltrating the hard-core music scene, with photos by @PhotographyWithAdam from various local shows. It highlights the artists, but also the musicians we have here in the area.”

Those who visit the show can expect a unique experience. In addition to the amazing art on the walls, featuring Adam’s photos combined with the creature art of eleven local artists, Galaxy Brothers will be spinning the music to set the mood and artist Travis Duda will be doing live painting no photo canvases so people can watch the process of creating this world.

Digital artists featured in this show include @blackRabbits22, @i.r.i.i.s.e.s, @woobity_boobity, @crocpaints, @prettykittypress, @hunchbacktravis, @emilysteegs, @eamontron, @grhimmx, @lighthand.luke and Chris himself.

“The artists I work with are all amazing,” says Chris. “It’s especially important to me that they not only be good artists, but good people too. In curating the shows, I meet with artists and get to know them, because the way the world is right now it is important that the people that share their creative voices are people who have a good heart and good intentions,” he shares.

Having moved into Worcester a few years back, Chris is thrilled with the creativity and diverse, out of the box thinking that exists in the city.

“It’s diverse not just from an outside look, but from an inward self,” Chris shares. “The diversity of thought here is unique and there are so many creative people here. Building friendships and connections with likeminded people and those who inspire deeper thinking is an opportunity here that made me want to plant roots. My partner and I bought a home here knowing this was right where we wanted to be. Everyone you meet here has a story, a side hustle, and something they are reaching for. It’s not like anywhere else,” he tells us.

Chris welcomes creatives to reach out if they are interested in collaborating on future shows. Simply reach out to him on Instagram at @ChrisMichelotti. 

Sharing his last thoughts, Chris encourages everyone to attend the show – “The creatures you will encounter are reflections of your community and the people here…and of you. Support the local artists who care about you and this great place we are in. It will be a good time.” 

See Creatures of Worcester at Electric Haze on Friday, August 4th from 8 PM to 1 AM. Electric Haze is located at 26 Millbury St. Door charge is only $5.