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Brooklyn Street Art

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Borås Kids Smash the “Open Wall”: Children’s Workshop at “No Limit” : Dispatch 3

Posted on September 6, 2017

This week BSA is in Borås, a municipality in south-western Sweden for the 3rd edition of No Limit, a mural arts festival that brings Street Artists from around the world to create new works on walls of the city, in the process enlivening public space and creating new ways for this historic textile merchant town to engage passersby with their city.


“They just float around you know, they do their own thing,” says Swedish graffiti writer Appear37 about these junior aerosol artists who are taking his workshop here on a muddy grey day. “Some have sprayed on each other and stuff, I need to check on them regularly. They also like to spray on the ground. So kids are crazy.”

Open Wall. Children Workshop with Swedish graffiti writer Appear37. No Limit Borås 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We’re in a small wooded park by the railroad tracks here in Borås, standing in front of the first official legal wall that is sponsored by the city. Getting this large outside canvas for organic artistic expression took years of discussion that was often lively and even rancorous, according to a number of locals. A collection of 7 or 8 young people are here to get familiar with the spray can and to see if they can translate their hand drawn designs into paint on a wall.

That’s precisely what their teacher Appear37, otherwise known as Adam Algotsson, is helping them do. The folding table near the wall is full of boxes of cans, and an acoustic speaker is playing the Spanish language pop hit “Despacito” on a loop. Adam tells us that the kids wanted to hear their favorite song over and over again so he obliged their preference so they could get into their groove. After the fifth time hearing the song he says the repetition is beginning to drive him a little loco and the professor is ready to switch to his own funky playlist on his phone.

BSA: It looks like the kids like to experiment.
Adam: That’s why we do this – so they can get the feeling. It’s part of the “No Limit” project and we want to show the youngsters that we have a legal wall now so they can start and become a real artist.

Open Wall. Children Workshop with Swedish graffiti writer Appear37. No Limit Borås 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The “Open Wall”, as it is referred to here, has literally been up and ready for the public for only three days, he says, and already many artists of a variety of ages have been putting their skills and ideas to the test. Appear37 has a serious burner here and another well known Swedish graff writer LEON (W.U.F.C) has one of his fantastical characters on it as well.

As he keeps a close eye on the students progress he talks about his own history without much guidance on his art skills. “I started like this, on the streets of course. I found some walls in Gothenburg. When I got older I talked to the local officials here in Borås about getting a legal wall for everyone but it took 10 years, 11 years! But now we’ve got a really huge one and we will get even more because they like it now. So I am glad for it and I live very close so I can just go and paint on it.”

Open Wall. Children Workshop with Swedish graffiti writer Appear37. No Limit Borås 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We pause for a moment as a girl with long blond hair and an adult sized buttoned shirt over her regular clothes carries a can over to Appear37 to ask him a question. After some instructions and encouraging tones in Swedish, she tentatively does a couple small bursts of paint on an eyeball.

“She wanted to know how to do highlights,” he says. “It’s good if they can try. She understands – you can see it in her work. It won’t get good the first time – you need to try to change how far you hold the can from the wall and it is so difficult.”

A frog is ready to leap from the sketch to the Open Wall. Children Workshop with Swedish graffiti writer Appear37. No Limit Borås 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“It takes a lot of years just to do one clean line. For me it took like four years to do a good line. Now I do a really good one. It’s my full-time job so I have to do it well.” We talk about the change of roles for him from rebel to artist to teacher. Now he is the one who is setting the example, and his face lights up as he talks about all the students he has been working with. “Yes I have a lot of workshops. It is so fun – when they listen!”

He says that he is self taught, and he spent much time alone as a teenager – painting, and more painting. “I have been alone a lot, thinking. I have grown as a person because of that I think. It has been a lot of hours in my studio and in my room doing canvases.” A life-long Borås resident, his graffiti work is well known among peers in the Swedish graffiti game and he has developed an appreciable following for his gallery work on canvas as well.

Open Wall. Children Workshop with Swedish graffiti writer Appear37. No Limit Borås 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

But right now, Appear37 is looking for the new talents that are emerging before his eyes in this two-hour class.

“Some of them want to leave pretty soon after they first try to use the can. But then some of them don’t want to stop. Those are the ones that I want to catch the ones who really love it.

We look at the sketches of the students now placed on the ground in front of the wall. The students  prepared them earlier with a school teacher at a picnic table nearby before attempting to create them here on the wall. One of them, a line drawing of a character, catches his eye.

“She has her own style already. You can feel it in her sketches.”



Check out the works of the professor at his brand new gallery show:

Adam Algotsson alias Appear37 this weekend as part of the “No Limit” festival in Borås at Galleri Villastaden, opening Friday night. Complete info below:

Open Wall. Children Workshop with Swedish graffiti writer Appear37. No Limit Borås 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Open Wall. Children Workshop with Swedish graffiti writer Appear37. No Limit Borås 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Open Wall. Children Workshop with Swedish graffiti writer Appear37. No Limit Borås 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Open Wall. Children Workshop with Swedish graffiti writer Appear37. No Limit Borås 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Open Wall. Children Workshop with Swedish graffiti writer Appear37. No Limit Borås 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Galleri Villastaden
Övre Kvarngatan 44
50453 Borås
Telefon: 0706-329758

info@gallerivillastaden.se

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