These days, it's not enough for event planners to simply provide music and liquor and call it a party.
The best types of parties in Savannah are arguably the ones that offer an interactive experience of art, music and performance for the entire audience.
Lucia Garcia and Melissa Hagerty plan to do just that with a collaborative event April 26 in what will be the latest and possibly most creative show of the season, the ConeArtists Closing Party at Southern Pine Company.
Brought together as fellow musicians of the stimulating band Word of Mouth, Garcia and Hagerty are joining their passions for music and performance art to host an open dance party and art show.
The event presents a new milestone for Garcia, who will celebrate the first album release for her music project, Electric Grandma.
"We started working on the album about a year ago," Garcia said. "Learning how to use music programs has always been a dream of mine. So it was a huge learning process for me."
And for Hagerty, the event will mark the debut of her first art show since graduating from Savannah College of Art and Design. She'll also be performing with her new band, Omingnome.
Despite the achievements the party represents, Garcia and Hagerty insist their merging visions aim to service a greater purpose than their own accomplishments.
"This is just the beginning of what we've been manifesting since we formed Word of Mouth," Garcia said. "We're collaborating in different ways outside of the band."
In fact, they've also enlisted their friends to help ring in the big night by opening the stage to performances by KidSyc@Brandywine, rap artist Migg Son Daddy, as well as a live DJ set by Redlab.
Savannah Party Stoppers will also be there to keep the crowd moving, and Icepop Peddlers will sell refreshing popsicles to keep them energized.
In preparation for Friday night, Garcia and Hagerty have placed pink painted pine cones throughout the city, which are to be brought to the party by the lucky guests who find them for a chance to win prizes such as artwork and free Electric Grandma albums.
When asked if the promotional use of pine cones was inspired by the venue name, Southern Pine Company, Hagerty laughed and said, "It's just a big coincidence."
Really, she's been collecting and painting pine cones for years, a conduit which she says started as a dream and has since sparked into a bigger movement with the help of her friends.
"I'd leave them in New York, Atlanta, Asheville," Hagerty said, but yet still had piles more left to give away.
Some of the pine cones were displayed during her ConeArtists opening show earlier in April.
"I had people write a positive message on a piece of a paper and we put them in the pine cones and used them to build a sculpture around Lucia," she said. "I ended up with 80 pieces of paper with messages on them. So I'm going to redistribute those around Savannah."
Apart from serving as raffle entries and colorful showpieces, the woody cones will also help to reflect the event's main idea: to visualize and activate your "third eye."
This mystical concept derives from a tiny pineal gland in the human brain that controls sleep/wake patterns.
"It's literally a pine cone," Hagerty said. "Same shape, same secret geometry."
But its ability to influence dreams and intuition has ignited artistic and spiritual expression for artists like Hagerty and Garcia, who call it a "gateway to the soul."
They have also planned a special pine cone performance piece in between the sets for Electric Grandma and Omingnome as a tribute to the mystic symbol.
During the weeks they've devoted to planning Friday's event, Garcia and Hagerty say it's been a vital learning experience for the both of them.
For Hagerty, it's an opportunity to continue exploring performance art and grow closer to a vision of combining her work with activism efforts such as the environment and humanity. "I don't get super political" says Hagerty. "I think change is going to happen with humanity and people coming together. We're going to make the change."
And what began merely as an album release party for Electric Grandma has evolved into a transcendent experience that incorporates various forms of art and performance. "I've learned sometimes you just have to release control and let things happen." Garcia said. You can't be too stuck on ideas because they're always morphing. And it never comes out the way you think it will. But it's always awesome."
To listen to and download the new album by Electric Grandma, go to www.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: ConeArtists Closing Party
WHEN: April 26. 8 p.m. to 4 a.m.
WHERE: Southern Pine Company, 616 E. 35th St.