New Kids On The Block

New Kids On The Block
A blank slate: The first room features a bar for food or drink (left) and movable furniture.
Image: Shawn Gentile

New Kids On The Block / Tonight, we’re doing something different. We’re going to throw you a warehouse party with a dance floor, strobe lights, a veejay and a caterer. Oh, and let’s slap your Mario Kart video game tournament up on the wall through a Bose soundsystem and all five HD projectors. Just you and me and twenty of your closest friends.

Such fantasy parties are now possible at CoXist Studio, a new multi-use warehouse space in (where else?) Kakaako. Last week, Caleb Shinobi used it for his “Abstract Noir” fashion show, which further established Shinobi as our very own Steve McQueen/David Bowie/Tim Burton/Edward Scissorhandsian experimental energy cocktail. It was a success, more or less, thanks to event organizers Cyrina Hadad and studio exective director Casea (pronounced “Cassie”) Collins-Wright.

“Underground [events, like ‘Abstract Noir,’ are] part of what we do to keep CoXist at the forefront of the arts scene,” Collins-Wright says. “The other part? Allowing people to do whatever they want.”

Collins-Wright and her partner Jason Selley are also creators of Lush Pops (the frozen, spiked popsicles) and discovered the unused warehouse during their search for a commercial kitchen. Because of the alcohol in the sweet treat, Collins-Wright and Selley had difficulty finding a space with a liquor license. They contacted Kamehameha Schools, who offered the warehouse. Renovations began in September, and the space finished just in time for Shinobi’s walk of fame.

CoXist’s minimalistic, yet artsy furniture such as chairs, sinks and sliding doors are the work of UH Manoa architecture students. “Jason proposed to the University that this could be a space for students to actually build something and have a portfolio,” says Collins-Wright. The white walls make a “blank canvas” so people can transform the space into their liking. From pop-up markets to video game tournaments (we weren’t joking), Collins-Wright plans to collaborate with Kakaako’s urban community for upcoming events and extends discounts for nonprofit organizations. She has ideas that involve Taste, Whole Ox, Honolulu Night Market and even Bishop Museum.

Rates vary; contact CoXist for rental rates and package information.

CoXist Studio, 331 Keawe St., [email: info], (541) 621-8761