Life altering moments come in all forms every day. However, they don’t often arrive while one is dressed in costume as a stone Gargoyle surrounded by a mass of people. This is how Eric Auger and Joe Pari, nearly lifelong friends and native Rhode Islanders arrived at their AH-HA moment and how their business, TEN31 came into existence.
Waterfire, Providence’s major art attraction was only in it’s 5th year. The two saw an opportunity to express their creativity and their love of costumes and created the perennial favorite characters, The Gargoyles.
With absolutely no intention of leaving their individual careers, At the time, the two explain, “it was fulfilling a need in them to perform and was both magical and fun.” Of course it was hard work, the weight of the cast fiberglass wings, the costumes, the heat of the summer, all made it challenging. The challenges however paled in comparison to what the two gained in their performances. It was simply put– magical. People connected to the Gargoyles in ways that Auger and Pari never thought possible. Adults acted like excited children; children fell in love with them; they believed the Gargoyles were real … as if they were mystical pets.
Eventually, the public began to inquire about hiring the Gargoyles for entertainment at nightclubs and private parties. Soon, professional event planners started to inquire and before long TEN31 incorporated.
With lots of patience and hours and hours of work, the two tirelessly worked on building their company, which now includes nearly 50 performers, artists, and support staff.
The concept for TEN31 grew out of the idea that art can be brought to life and provide emotionally inspiring entertainment.
The company is deeply dedicated to creating high quality artistic entertainment. TEN31’s collection of costumes and offerings have transformed since its beginning. Today, their installations range in size from one performer to dozens.
There is virtually an endless array of combinations within their collection of statues, trees, topiaries and other interesting characters… all performed by their trained and talented artists.
TEN31 draws its name and inspiration from the spirit of Halloween and the idea of transforming oneself. As artists, they use the human form as their canvas. Designing detailed costumes and characters based on historic and mythological references, they draw inspiration from exploring the ancient periods and modern times such as art deco and futurist styles.
They take pride in producing custom handcrafted works of art with a promise to be committed to the highest artistic and professional standards. They have been honored to perform for many of America’s top corporate firms and prestigious social events throughout the United States and abroad worldwide.
Over its 13 year history, TEN31 had the distinct privilege to be hired by the Obama White House to install 5 Living Statues for an event hosted by the President and the First Lady held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and attended by heads of state and members of the U.N. It was an epic moment for the company, when the President greeted the statues and lamented that his daughters weren’t in attendance to see the performance.
Through the years, the company has traveled as far as Shanghai to perform as a commissioned replica of the John Harvard Statue at Harvard University Global Alumni Conference. With a client list that includes companies such as PepsiCo, Bloomberg, Red Sox, Liberty Mutual and museums and institutions like RISD, MIT, Clark Art Institute, and the USTA, TEN31 understands what it takes to function as an art company in a corporate world.
The amazing and devoted staff, many of whom have worked and performed with TEN31 for years and some even from its inception, never go unrecognized. Without them, Auger and Pari recognize the company would not have been able to grow and expand.
Ultimately, the company wants to touch people, to pull them from the world we live in and transport them to a world of make believe, or as they say, “make pretend”.
We Make Pretend is their motto and registered service mark. It captured in a double entendre what it’s all about for them, for they are literally making pretend. All the costumes are conceptualized and fabricated in their Rhode Island Studio at 250 Esten Ave., Ste. 103 Pawtucket, RI.