“Living Walls: Albany” Begins! Gaia, Nanook and a Rockefeller

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Over the next few weeks, New York State’s capital city, Albany, will be the site of a large scale Street Art show with many artists whom you are familiar with and a number of new ones on walls in desolate areas, historic districts, and even a church.

When local artist and visionary Samson Contompasis asked BSA to be partners with Living Walls last winter, we already knew about his reputation as a stalwart proponent of the creative spirit who opens doors for artists of many stripes. If Samson is in love with something, it’s going to happen.

Now “Living Walls: Albany” has grown to encompass not only multiple walls for Street Artists from around the world but the involvement of civic leaders, building owners, arts institutions, historical ombudspeople, electronic and print media, artists, musicians, galleries, a museum, and arts programming for kids and families. That was one sentence.

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Gaia and Nanook collaboration (photo © Andrew Franciosa)

For our involvement BSA will help keep you up on all the walls with people we’ve worked with before and new ones too, bringing you regular updates from now until the big weekend of the 16-18th, which will have live art, music, symposia, and a keynote by your buddies here. Today we’d like to introduce two talents on the Albany scene who will be leading the way in our coverage, writer KC Orcutt, and photographer Andrew Franciosa as they were on the scene when Gaia and Nanook first started their new piece.

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Gaia and Nanook collaboration (photo © Andrew Franciosa)

Gaia and Nanook in Albany

Words by KC Orcutt, Images by Andrew Franciosa

A new livelihood is radiating around the colossal work of Gaia and Nanook, which debuted the Living Walls: Albany last week. Their vibrant piece adorns the side of a vacant, unroofed building currently aging on N. Pearl and Livingston.

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Gaia and Nanook collaboration (photo © Andrew Franciosa)

Ten minutes into my third visit, a handful of neighborhood children flocked in front of the massive brick before me to point out what they liked about the Street Art as two passer-bys curiously paused. The figure of a man pushing a contemporary piece of art (currently housed in the Rockefeller Empire Plaza Concourse) towards the face of Nelson Rockefeller is inexplicably alluring. The collective work is as perplexing as it is simple.

The merging of Albany landmarks in a notion of “pushing forward” is an attentively constructed kick off to the project this fall. One of the energetic neighborhood children, unaware of his metaphorical wisdom, looked at me and said, “I guess it’s a new day.”

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Gaia and Nanook collaboration (photo © Andrew Franciosa)

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Gaia and Nanook collaboration (photo © Andrew Franciosa)

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Gaia and Nanook collaboration (photo © Andrew Franciosa)

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Gaia and Nanook collaboration (photo © Andrew Franciosa)

Living Walls : Albany

Participating artists include: Army of One , Broken Crow ,Cake ,Chris Stain ,Clown Soldier ,Deacon Czar , Depoe , Dwell & One Unit , Evereman , Gaia , Gregory Maxwell Dunn II , Hellbent , Jacqueline Brickman , Joe Iurato , Jon Burgerman , Marcus Anderson , Michael DeFeo , Nanook , Over/Under , Papertwins , Radical! , ROA , Scott Michael Ackerman , Skewville , Uneek , Veng , VRNO , White Cocoa , YARK

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