The Free Press, Mankato, MN


March 8, 2013

Former Dead artist gets live in Mankato


MANKATO — At Red Sky, a pair of eclectic Twin Cities bands — reggae rockers Jon Wayne and the Pain, and the relentlessly touring funk-punk bunch Dead Larry — will command the stage. Meanwhile, Hues will ply his paintbrush in a live painting booth beginning a few hours before the 9 p.m. concert. 

The event serves as a sort of grand opening celebration for Christy and Kristie’s, which has already been open for a few months and is in the process of mounting a full inventory of mostly locally produced items. Hues’ paintings will also be sold in the store. 

Co- owner Christy Steinbach, a Mankato music promoter who frequents the festival scene as a vendor, said the storefront will allow her to sell her own wares as well as “ have an outlet for other artists of all forms to showcase their work.” 

As for Hues, many music fans and concert- goers have probably seen his work without even knowing. 

Of course, the backdrops he creates for music festivals are hard to miss. Thanks to a youth spent collecting album cover art, Hues is well-versed in the visual nomenclature of rock n’ roll. Many of his backdrops and paintings are imbued with same psychedelic mysticism and cemetery symbology that he grew up admiring. 

But Hues can paint in more traditional styles as well. After winning a prestigious drawing prize while a student at Auburn University in 1990, Hues gradually madehis way into mural painting. In the decades since, he’s painted murals across the country in hospitals, schools, restaurants, retail stores and art galleries. 

Perhaps Hues is best known, however, for the Tshirt he created for the Grateful Dead’s 1994 fall tour. 

After quitting his job as a waiter at a saloon in Florida in 1992, Hues began focusing more on his hobby of making T-shirts. During a threeshow run in Atlanta, he was accosted by Grateful Dead security in a parking lot for selling his designs without approval. 

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