All posts tagged: Albany

Living Walls : Albany Presents: Keynote Lecture by Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo “Street Art Stories: A New Direction on the Street” (Albany, New York)

Living Walls Albany


Saturday, September 17th
Located in the Clark Auditorium of the New York State Museum

“Street Art Stories: A New Direction on the Street”

Presented by Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo, founders of Brooklyn Street Art

In Street Arts’ latest chapter, the storytellers are hitting up walls with all manner of influences and methods. More than ever before, formally trained and self taught fine artists are skipping the gallery route and taking their work directly to the public, creating cultural mash-ups and highly personal stories of their own, altering the character of this scene once again. Eclectic, individual, and as D.I.Y. as you can imagine, these Street Artists may have knowledge of who came before them or not, but they are determined to be a part of one art scene that is perceived as authentic, relevant, and alive.

Join Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo, authors (“Brooklyn Street Art”, and “Street Art New York”, published by Prestel/Random House) and founders of Brooklyn Street Art ( and contributing Street Art writers for The Huffington Post ARTS, as they show and compare examples of work from New York’s streets today. Then join a lively discussion in a Q&A session to help explore this storytelling practice and discuss how it may be evolving what we have been calling “Street Art” for the last decade.

Hosted by “Living Walls : Albany”, Samson Contompasis, Director,  and Grand Street Community Arts, James Shultis, Executive Director.

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Cake at Living Walls: Albany


Street Artist Cake brought her hand painted people to Albany yesterday, with these portraits of a “wondrous traveler”named Saige. A fine artist who makes one of a kind wheate-pasted pieces as a means of therapy and tribute, Cake has a unique style that is at once melodic and medical, enabling the viewer to have x-ray vision. Recently Cake has been introducing metallic, as in these two new pieces using silver leaf.

Learn more about Cake and see Jaime Rojo’s photos of her work in our recent interview with her on Juxtapoz.


Knock knock, Cake is at the door. (photo © Cake)


Cake (photo © Cake)


Cake (photo © Cake)

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Joe Iurato at “Living Walls: Albany”


“The amount of talent pouring into Albany is incredible,” says Street Art stencilist Joe as he watched the Street Artists arrive and spread out to hit their walls right now. Broken Crow has been in the capitol city since the weekend, ROA just touched down and How & Nosm is coming from Miami on Friday – and that’s just a taste. “By week’s end, the transformation will be something to see for sure,” Joe glows.


(image © Joe Iurato)

For his part, Mr. Iurato spent a couple of days in beautiful late summer sun drenched bliss and managed to knock out two pieces – one on Central ave in Albany, the other on a highway buttress across the river in neighboring Rensellaer. Hewing to some of his favorite themes, you will see references to faith, redemption and the spiritual journey here in some exclusive pics just for BSA readers.


(image © Joe Iurato)


(image © Joe Iurato)


(image © Joe Iurato)


(image © Joe Iurato)

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Overunder Makes More Brain Candy for Living Walls : Albany


Overunder is a fast-moving free-associating surrealist whose Street Art pieces catch your eye as you skip past a run down neglected piece of property. Always balancing on the edge of your reality and his boundless imagination, the painted plumcake pieces will strum the brainwaves and may make you all skittish like a cat at a rocking chair convention.


Overunder on a burned out carcass of a building. (image © Overunder)


Okay, which way we goin’?  (image © Overunder)


Penny for your thoughts, bro. (image © Overunder)


Overunder (image © Overunder)


The trick for fashions for Fall ’11 is to accessorize. Just the right bling can take you from day to evening. (image © Overunder)

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Chris Stain in Church, Museum : 9/11 Mural With “Living Walls: Albany”


The Street Artist Creates 40 Foot Mural Marking 10th Anniversary

brooklyn-street-art-chris-stain-andrew-franciosa-living-walls-albany-09-11-web-4Chris Stain (photo © Andrew Franciosa)

Living Walls with Chris Stain

Words by KC Orcutt
with photos from Andrew Franciosa, Frank Whitney, and Ken Jacobie

Working in the monumental landmark of St. Joseph’s church, the focal point marking Albany’s Ten Broeck Historical District, everything echoed. The shake of the spray paint can, Chris Stain’s soft but direct voice, friends casually eating out of take-out containers and the sliding of a huge ladder against the wooden floor echoed against the high, detailed ceilings of the church, breaking the silence in what felt like both a privileged and private setting to be working in.


Samson prepares the wall at St Joseph’s church for Chris Stain (photo © Ken Jacobie)

This portion of the “Living Walls: Albany” project directly faced the challenge all artists face: make something out of nothing. For the organizer, Samson Contompasis, that challenge was making a 40 by 16 foot wall out of 20 wooden pieces for Chris Stain to create his contribution to the project. Challenge met. Next.


Chris Stain (photo © Andrew Franciosa)

As Chris Stain humored me in talking about Albany, the culture of zines and independent art books, doing his art homework on the train up here and how the quietness of the church was peaceful, he worked very swiftly. With one can of spray paint on deck in his back pocket and one in his hand, he got to work on his installation piece, depicting a scene of firefighters, an American flag and slanted city buildings, working with the ‘perfect’ red and an assortment of spray paint cans aligned like soldiers ready to go.


Chris Stain (photo © Andrew Franciosa)

The finished piece alongside the ornate details of the church allowed for a natural moment of silence, soaking in what Stain sprayed before us, ready to be taken apart and installed in the setting of the New York State Museum the next day as a part of the new exhibit, “Reflecting on September 11, 2001.”


Chris Stain (photo © Andrew Franciosa)


Chris Stain (photo © Andrew Franciosa)


Chris Stain (photo © Andrew Franciosa)


Chris Stain (photo © Andrew Franciosa)


Chris Stain (photo © Andrew Franciosa)


Chris Stain (photo © Andrew Franciosa)

brooklyn-street-art-chris-stain-Frank Whitney-living-walls-albany-09-11-web-1

Chris Stain’s mural being installed at the New York State Museum (photo © Frank Whitney)

brooklyn-street-art-chris-stain-Frank Whitney-living-walls-albany-09-11-web-2

Chris Stain’s mural being installed at the New York State Museum (photo © Frank Whitney)


“Reflecting on September 11, 2001” opens at the New York State Museum Friday 10.9.11. Please click here for more information.

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Albany Center Gallery Presents “Eco Primitive Eco Surreal” Thomas D’Ambrose And Radical (Albany, NY)

brooklyn-street-art-radical-From-the- Drain

Radical “From The Drain’ Photo Courtesy of the Artist

Gallery Exhibits Work from Two Unexpected Regional Artists

Albany Center Gallery presents Eco Primitive Eco Surreal: Thomas D’Ambrose and RADICAL! to be held January 7, 2011 through February 12, 2011. The receptions will take place on Friday, January 7 and February 4 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in congruence with 1st Friday. Albany Center Gallery is located at 39 Columbia Street between N. Pearl and Broadway in Downtown Albany, NY.

Thomas D’Ambrose is a self taught artist and received his first Special Opportunity Stipend through The New York Foundation for the Arts administered by The Arts Center for the Capital Region in Troy, NY for this exhibit. D’Ambrose has exhibited at The Lark Street Improvement District and Upstate Artists Guild, and recently participated in Flux, an multimedia exhibition at St. Joseph’s church curated by Ken Jacobie. A lifetime resident of the capital district, D’Ambrose has also been musician for the Past 30 years performing with the critically acclaimed group THE SHARKS. He recorded and performed with Albany rock luminaries BLOTTO and appeared in a BLOTTO MTV music video. Thomas received his B.S. in Music Education from the College of St. Rose and M.S. in Educational Communications from the University at Albany. Over the past few years he has taken an interest in the capital district art scene and in 2001 co-founded the TRINK Gallery in Cohoes, N.Y. with Nadia Trinkala and Robert Gullie. His eco-primitive style features a variety of jungle animals which he transforms into colorful and stylized primitive representations. Much of his work incorporates vintage wall paper and found or discarded canvases. Colorful zoological and botanical specimens are recurring themes throughout his work. D’Ambrose states, “the vast majority of my work features spectacular zoological and botanical specimens which I attempt to transform into colorful and stylized primitive representations. I capture a magical feeling of innocence and wonder for the natural world”.

RADICAL! is not the artist’s birth name, rather an identity created to embody the imaginative. A prolific artist, RADICAL! is the youngest to exhibit in a two person exhibit at Albany Center Gallery. The artist states, “I work with whatever I can find, and I hope to reach a point someday where I can pick up anything I see and treat it as a new canvas…my fondness of the urban landscape dwells inside me, and beckons me”. RADICAL! often incorporates needles and other blunt objects; however, it is never the artist’s intent to promote drugs or violence. Instead, RADICAL’S! use of illustrative imagery are incorporated to serve as a metaphor for the lack of societies discomfort to communicate. Before the age of 18, RADICAL! exhibited all over the world including Artsic Festival at The Haven Wolverhamton in London, UK, the Re-Use Project II exhibition in Tel Aviv Isreal, Waxploitation:Lost in Transit in Washington D.C., Everybody Get Up in London, UK and Cut Out at The Sommercasino in Basel Switzerland. RADICAL’S! artwork has been published in “We Were Here: a steet book” by After the Fall and “Stickerbomb 2” published by Laurence King Publishers, and he has exhibited his work locally with the Grand Street Community Arts, The Marketplace Gallery, and Kismet Gallery to name a few. RADICAL! has also exhibited his work in Russia, Moscow, and most recently in Rosendale, NY.

brooklyn-street-art-radical-Carrot-Mans- Revenge

Radical “Carrot Man’s Revenge” Photo Courtesy of the Artist

Albany Center Gallery

39 Columbia St.
Albany, NY 12207

P: 518.462.4775

Gallery Hours
Tuesday – Saturday
Noon to 5 p.m.
or by appointment

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Wish # 10 : Samson



For 11 days we’re presenting 11 artists and BSA readers and their wishes for the new year, 2011, in no particular order. Together, they are a tiny snapshot of the people who are creators and fans of street art. Individually, each has added their expression of the creative spirit to the year now ending.

Today’s wish comes from BSA reader and Street Artist Samson from Albany, New York, who won in the BSA Holiday Giveaway, with this photo of his best friends and with this wish:

I wish to change the world around me for the better, to brighten people’s worlds and to sharpen their minds. I wish for oneness.

brooklyn-street-art-Dec- 30-samson-12-10-webSamson (photo © Samson)

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Free Art on the Street! PaperGirl Surprises NYC With Original Idea

331 rolls of art, 9 bikes, 3 boroughs, 3 bridges, 6 hours of insane fun, 1 sunny day.

Yesterday BSA participated in the first annual PaperGirl NYC where  pieces of original art were handed out for free to incredulous recipients in Bushwick, Williamsburg, Greenpoint, The Lower East Side, Union Square, The Meat Packing District, The West End Highway, The Upper West Side, Central Park, The Upper East Side and Long Island City.

Getting Ready (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Art-gifting bike riders preparing at 3rd Ward before hitting the streets. (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

NewYorkers can be suspicious when it comes to free stuff on the street from strangers. Curious like cats, they love schwaaaaaag, and they’ll  grab shiny packaged free gum, energy drinks or diet nut bars from corporate vans and pickup trucks wrapped in splashy advertisements. Sometimes they’ll even wait, flirt and be nice to you to get a free sample of whatever food or drink it is that you are presenting to them.

But if you are pushing free original one of a kind pieces of free art – the responses can range from just flat out “no thank you”, to just “no” or a shake of their head. And that’s when they are being nice. In many cases they will just ignore you or give you nasty looks. Other times they’ll give you a hug and pose for pictures. You just never know.

Manhattan Bound (Photo © Jaime Rojo)
Manhattan Bound (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Manhattanites are a tough crowd indeed. The number of people that rejected the free art in Manhattan was very surprising to many of us. The crowds in Union Square Park, for example, had little interest in free art and the same pretty much goes for the rest of the island. Williamsburg, Bushwick, Greenpoint and Long Island City residents were far more receptive and nice to our overtures and when they heard “It’s free art” you would see their faces light up and take the art with a big smile.

Lucky Art Lovers (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Lucky Art Lovers (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

The people waiting in line to enter the studios TV show The Colbert Report were definitely not interested. When one standee timidly reached out to grab the art being handed to him on the sidewalk, a studio security guard promptly snatched the art from his hands and proceeded to lecture us about the dangers of handing down anything to them.

“These people, waiting in line, they belong to The Colbert Report,” he intoned with a straight face.

Of course when we challenged that ridiculous assertion of a public street somehow containing people who were enslaved and controlled by a television show, he became a bit more conciliatory. He explained that it was a matter of courtesy not to give free art to these people. The Colbert Report fans can’t enter the show with rolls of paper that might offend the host or gasp! the audiences back at home. Got it.

A pleased recipient with her rolled up piece. Photo © Jaime Rojo

PaperGirl NY is a collective of artists and art lovers that put out a call to artists to create art and to participate on this adventure. Artists from 12 countries responded and the art was shown briefly in New York City and in Albany before it was rolled up and given away. It was street art indeed. The concept is different from what you normally consider street art to be but the art was on the streets and this time some lucky people got to take it home.

PaperGirl – NYC takes a moment to rest and regroup. Photo © Jaime Rojo

The notion that someone would reject free art, or anything free for that matter seemed alien. The enthusiasm and glee in which those that accepted the art were contagious and pure joy to watch. That made the day an unforgettable one… and the weather was perfect.

Yo, check it out. Free Art! Photo © Jaime Rojo

Heels on Wheels. She Biked With Them Pumps All Day. (Photo © Jaime Rojo)
Heels on wheels. This PaperGirl pumped in these pumps all day throughout the city. (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

To learn more about PaperGir-NY please visit the site below:

∆∆ Sina B. Hickey ∆∆
∆∆ PaperGirl-NYState ∆∆
Founder and Lead Organizer
Bringing Art from the Gallery to the Street

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PaperGirl-NY: Free Art on The Street NOW!

If you are walking through NYC today and a stranger offers you a rolled tube of paper, you might normally wrestle them to the ground, sit on them and call Officer McKlusky. No you wouldn’t, but some people who live in a permanent state of Orange Alert would.

PaperGirl is bringing a new way to experience Street Art to New York this month. Originally debuted in Berlin five years ago the project also offers you something to take home, if you are lucky.

Don’t call the police, take the art! The concept behind this project is very simple: Instead of experiencing street art as traditional wheat paste on a wall you will be able to take the art being handed to you on the street for free. No Gimmicks. No Bull. No Games. Just ART for those who love ART.

The pieces to be distributed have been collected from artists around the world who support the project and the concept behind the project. The art has been documented and after a brief gallery show the art is rolled up and bound with an information band on the project and handed over to strangers on the streets.

Please take a minute to read the full press release on the project after this beautiful video.

We are very excited to debut PaperGirl-NY to New York City! PaperGirl-Albany was a good practice run for the amazing event that will take place at the Dumbo Art Center from August 24-25 and at The Armory from August 27-29. The show will also be in Albany at the Marketplace Gallery from September 3-6 as a part of a show that will also include Chris Stain, Billy Mode, and Scout in addition to other artists. A short film on PaperGirl-Albany has been freshly released. The link is at the bottom of the page.

PaperGirl-NY (PaperGirl-Albany combined with the newly formed PaperGirl-NYC) 2010 will include at least 90 artists from 11 countries. The art will be exhibited for 8 days in 3 galleries and will be distributed in the 2 cities of Albany and New York. The work from all the artists who contributed will be shown in all three galleries, and after the last show the art is rolled up (each roll has a little bit of variety of artists and mediums), and the rolls of art are distributed at random to the streets of New York and Albany. Nothing is asked for in return, and this art cannot be bought.

We are incredibly excited for this year’s PaperGirl-NY, and we are already planning a bigger and better show for next year.
I will keep you informed about our progession, and I will send you next year’s film as well.
Thank you for support the most creative kinds of art. This has been the most exciting thing that I’ve ever been involved with.

∆∆ Sina B. Hickey ∆∆
∆∆ PaperGirl-NYState ∆∆
Founder and Lead Organizer
Bringing Art from the Gallery to the Street

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CAKE Rises from MarketPlace Gallery’s Ashes in Albany

This past weekend a new show at MarketPlace Gallery opened – which is remarkable in itself since an electrical fire badly damaged it last summer.
New York Street Artist CAKE
, Brooklyn illustrator Travis W. Simon, and Albany’s RADICAL! took over the expansive space, run by brothers Samson, Alex and Max Contompasis.

The CAKE sign at the entrance of Market Place
The CAKE sign at the entrance of Marketplace

The gallery, one of the capitol city’s few that support emerging and street artists from New York City and around the world, was also home to the brothers, who lost a lot of art, personal belongings, memories – and most importantly, Max’s bulldog, Xena.

CAKE installation at Marketplace Gallery (photo ©Lia Smaka)
CAKE installation at Marketplace Gallery (photo ©Lia Smaka)

CAKE, known for one of a kind illustrations and paintings wheat-pasted around town, created an abstract backdrop for a small collection of realistic line-drawn portraits .

Installation of CAKE wall.
Installation of CAKE wall.

A framed CAKE illustration.
A framed CAKE illustration.

This Is CAKE’s Flickr

Travis W. Simon’s Website


Marketplace Gallery

flyer by RADICAL!

flyer by RADICAL!

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