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Aug. 25, 2022

Art’s Sideshow, a new horror prop gallery in Montclair CA

Art’s Sideshow, a new horror prop gallery in Montclair CA

A group of haunters has made a new horror prop gallery in Montclair, CA and we’re going to the soft opening. Art’s Sideshow is a new horror prop gallery in Montclair, CA. The experience allows guests to have fun taking photos in 12 themed zones. It’s...

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A group of haunters has made a new horror prop gallery in Montclair, CA and we’re going to the soft opening. Art’s Sideshow is a new horror prop gallery in Montclair, CA. The experience allows guests to have fun taking photos in 12 themed zones. It’s a collaboration between local haunters and artists. This experience is a great example of using your assets and monetizing in the off-season. Today, we’ll speak with the manager and two artists behind it. Art’s Sideshow opens on August 27th. Subscribe to all our offerings:


Liz:Hello, my name is Liz, and I am the manager here at Art's Side Show. We are a new horror prop gallery in the city of Montclair, and we are hosting our soft opening today with our very close friends and loved ones.

Liz:When guests arrive at our storefront, they'll be able to purchase a ticket to enter our horror gallery. We have about 12 sections where they'll be able to take pictures and videos, and more than anything just to have fun.  They'll be able to enjoy our classic horror slashers area, Beetlejuice, and as you guys can see, Silence of the Lambs. And that's just a snippet of what we have here at Art's Sideshow.

Liz:The creator behind all this is Art, and he is my brother-in-law. With the collaboration of our amazing artists, we have Angel of Death Creation and Biggest Creation. Not just that we work with a lot of local vendors and a lot of our props are from local artists here.

Philip: Being as this event is such a collaboration between the artists, let's hear from those artists. Vegas Creations was responsible for the Beetlejuice area, and I interviewed Nesto right in front of it.

Nesto:My name is Nesto, my company called Biggest Creations where we're standing here next to is the preacher from Beetlejuice. The challenging part was how to transport to from Vegas. Of course, we did a great diorama for it from the movie, and then we did the actual graveyard scene, the tree, the tombstone, the light signage.

Nesto:So, this guy actually started as a chavant sculpture first. It was actually my first time ever doing the moles, it was quite challenging. So, this guy is actually made out of latex, and it's filled with foam, expanding foam. Once you pull it out of the mold, that's when you start doing your paint job. This guy’s actually coated and clear coated to give you that shiny effect. This guy took me about three weeks to get him done.

Nesto:Then, they told me, "Hey, can you build the actual chimney from the movie?" And that's what I did. This one I did it in a week because it was crunch time, last minute kind of, so yeah, I was able to do this in a week. Building something this big, you have some type of carpenter skills, it's not just put it together as you know, measurements, cutting. It was fun but challenging the same time.

Nesto:It's going to keep expanding, like this room here, it first started with just the props. Even with the actual graveyard scene, the first piece for the graveyard scene was just a tombstone, and then it expanded. I did the tree, I did the sign, the marquee for it.

Philip: How do you choose what projects for you to work on?

Nesto: Actually Art, actually, we've been childhood friends. I'm an artist, so I like to draw, paint, and he asked me, "can you do that?" I was like, "yeah, I'll try." So, once he noticed that I can do stuff like this, that's when he kept pushing me and pushing me. At that point, I like more of the difficult pieces, the unique pieces. I like more of a challenge of something hasn't been done yet, a unique piece. So, that's what really challenges me. If it's something unique and challenging for me, I'm always going to gravitate to that.

Philip: And the other primary artist behind Arts Sideshow is Angel of Death Creations. Angel was responsible for creating all the other dioramas around the experience. When I interviewed Angel, we were sitting in the cell of Hannibal Lecter with Hannibal hanging out on our right. The cell was fabricated by Angel and used primarily foam core with wood and sculpture elements.

Angel: I'm Angel Escalante owner of Angel of Death Creations and I make monsters. So, anything involved with horror, mostly classic horror. Art had an idea and has the props, the life-size props, tells me a scene, what he wants, we go back and forth like, "which scene would look better? Which scene from which movie would stand out a lot better?"

Philip: So, let's talk about the scene we're in right now, which is the cell of Hannibal. Talk to me about why you landed on this cell for Hannibal.

Angel: Hannibal was his baby. He wanted this one to be perfect. Took me about four days, four days and nights, couple of weekends I sleep here, put the TV in.

Philip: You slept in the cell?

Angel: Yeah, this is my little home away from home.

Philip: That's why it's so quiet in here!

Angel: In the wintertime it was nice and warm in here.

Philip: So, it's a wood backing with the foam core, and then treated.

Angel:Yes, everything is treated, layer over layers, heavy layers of latex.

Philip: Everything is a mixed medium. You're using foam, you're using sculpting, plaster, and then a quick screen and lighting. So, you're really like building truly a whole diorama around the characters that he already had.


Philip: What was the most surprising for you in building those 12 scenes?

Angel:I like to build haunt, and it's just constantly building haunt. We had a couple of things we had to change, and in a couple of walls we had to move, but it was just part of the whole creative process. Just keep doing it, keep doing it, keep doing it. It's not even work, it's fun just to keep doing it, just keep doing it, keep building.

Philip: How long have you been working on the whole?

Angel:Here we've changed things a couple of times, so probably almost about a year.

Philip: Of build, I mean that's continuous build, right?

Angel:Of just continuous build, continuous paint, continuous yeah, probably about a year.

Philip: Why do you make monsters?

Angel:Ever since elementary, skulls and heavy metal, that's pretty much monsters, dragons. They would ask me, "why did you draw flowers?" I was like, "flowers don't sound as good as monsters and Dragons and that kind of stuff."

Philip: What are your hopes for the evolution of it?

Angel:Hopefully we all grow this place. Keep going. Keep building. Get bigger, bigger props, bigger, a lot bigger.

Philip: Artistically, is there any challenge that you would like to tackle?

Angel:I would like to blow glass, I guess. Like at Knott's you see the people, something like that is something I've always wanted to do.
Philip: So, like metals and glass and that type of whole different...

Angel:Yeah. I mean, I've done window painting. I started off window painting and airbrush T-shirts, and then moved on to tattooing, building a haunt, mask making, and then doll making and sculpture. So, always have been going up, trying something new. Glassblowing and metal work, that's something I want to work on.