Val Kilmer Partners With Mosaic Sound Collective
Actor’s HelMel Studios links with Austin creative hub
By Kevin Curtin,
11:25AM, Tue. Feb. 25, 2020
You know Val Kilmer as a superhero, a pilot, a gunfighter, and a bank robber, but he’s also - in real life - a painter who’s enthusiastic about the creation, facilitation, and presentation of art. Recently, the actor's found a kindred spirit locally with Mosaic Sound Collective.
The Austin-based creative complex, focusing on affordability and collaboration, has formed a strategic partnership with Kilmer’s Los Angeles-based HelMel Studios that’ll provide both organizations with a space to present and create in each other’s city.
This new union kicks off with a series of local events happening in March during the spring festival season. With the Top Gun actor first making an appearance, as part of the partnership, at the Texas Film Awards on March 12, his HelMel team will embed at Mosaic’s East Austin campus - a honeycomb of studios, music businesses, creative offices, and practice spaces in a 25,000-square-foot building formerly used as a juvenile detention facility. A pop-up exhibition of Kilmer’s own visual art will be presented there from March 12 to 20, viewable by appointment. Mosaic will then present a Brunch with Val Kilmer event, taking place Sunday, March 15, 1pm, at the Alamo Drafthouse on Slaughter Lane.
Mosaic and equally sprawling HelMel teaming up is unsurprising given their similar philosophies.
“The dream for HelMel Studio was to have creative hubs throughout the world. A sandbox for creatives to feel inspired, safe, and encouraged to ‘go for it,’” Kilmer states, via press-release. “Last year, when I had the opportunity to meet [owner] Dan [Redman] and visit Mosaic, I had an immediate connection. Dan has cultivated a sanctum that mirrors the spirit of HelMel. It’s tangible and clearly a natural fit.”
When Kilmer toured Mosaic last September, Redman recalls that he picked up a sledgehammer and carried it around the space as he probed for the ideals behind the effort. At the end of the tour, an impressed Kilmer presented Redman with his own sledgehammer, calling it a “Disrupter Award.” Redman later visited HelMel in L.A., which takes up much of a city block, and realized exactly how much in common the two creative hubs have.“What we’re doing with music, HelMel is doing with visual art, poetry, and theatre,” says Redman.
Music remains a large focus of the five-year-old Mosaic, which houses several recording studios, a concert backline company, record label offices, practice spaces, and a music export project. Meanwhile, its workspaces also include a photographer’s studio, mobile podcast recording, a film set and costume designer, visual art studios, and a video game audio company. True to the creative hub’s model, most of the tenants collaborate with one another.
Redman expects the partnership with HelMel to provide touring musicians and artists from Austin more opportunities on the West Coast. In fact, Mosaic’s Mike Henry linked HelMel up with his old Electric Lounge favorite Hamell on Trial for an appearance this weekend where the anti-folk poet will present art and perform at the Los Angeles facility.
HelMel and Mosaic, along with the burgeoning Austin-based label Spaceflight Records, are also working together to throw a free party with a mind-blowing lineup of Texas bands at the 150-year-old Scholz Garten on March 19. Skylab 2020 will feature performances by the Black Angels, …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, Golden Dawn Arkestra, Holy Wave, the return of Residual Kid, Think No Think, Kalu & the Electric Joint, Jesse Ebaugh and the Tender Things, Lowin, the Sideshow Tragedy, Croy & the Boys, Buffalo Hunt, Galactic Protector, Ponytrap, the Human Circuit, and Como Las Movies. The all-day show will be hosted by Kilmer, along with special guest Matt Pinfield, the DJ and music encyclopedia, who you remember from MTV’s 120 Minutes show.
Mosaic has also signed on to help Kilmer further the efforts of his TwainMania Foundation, educating people on Americanism through the work of author and societal commentator Mark Twain.