All posts tagged: Living Walls Atlanta: The City Speaks 2012

Living Walls Atlanta 2012 Complete, Women Define the Show

Atlanta just finished the Living Walls festival, a collection of 30 female Street Artists who came for 10 days to create 18 new works around the city. The third festival in as many years, the event is equal parts inspiration and perspiration, and with a team of about 60 volunteers and 30 local businesses all working together to support the artists in whatever capacity is needed, it is largely non-commercial.

“You really don’t need much money to do this, just lots of heart and dedication. Taking back your public space, humanizing it, and reactivating it without selling anything to the public, is something that money can’t buy,” bemuses co-founder Monica Campana, and the point couldn’t be a finer one if it were a razor tipped Sharpie.

Hyuro (photo © Martha Cooper)

Hyuro’s mural from afar. (photo © Martha Cooper)

While Street Art festivals are seeming to blossom in cities around the globe that want to enliven the local cultural values (and possibly real estate values), more scrutiny is beginning to be paid by the watchers of the Street Art scene to see if mainstream acceptance will simply mean an enhanced currency stream for opportunists. In some cases Street Art festivals are looking like they’re getting ready to start moving some serious “lifestyle” product as events are being branded by sneakers and energy drinks. Of course, we’ve seen this movie before, along with it’s accompanying feelings of confliction.

Fefe (photo © Martha Cooper)

Living Walls has always had as a core component a series of lectures and panels dedicated to education and discussion about the role of art and artists in the public sphere. But that’s not the focus of everyone who throws one of these shindigs.

“I believe that there are some festivals that want to promote the scene, the street artists, and who  want to engage their communities via art. I also think that there are a whole other set of street art festivals that are using this movement to market a product and capitalize on it,” says Campana.

Fefe (photo © Martha Cooper)

Occasionally a wall in one of these festivals runs afoul of local tastes, as was the case for Street Artist Hyuro, whose line up of a female figure in various stages of undress brought at least one ornery feller out of the woods, or the recent depiction of two bears by ROA in Rochester that reminded some observers of a sexual position known best by it’s numeric moniker. Often you can look at these aesthetic flare-ups as a welcome opportunity for sophomoric jokes by teenage boys, selective umbrage by self appointed morality guards who rush passed the soup kitchen line to wave an angry finger, or the animated outrage of a story-hungry local newsreader reporting live on the scene. For a large part, surprisingly, many of the artists tell stories of Atlanta neighbors bringing food, their kids, sometimes a paintbrush.

For Alexandra Parrish, one of the festivals small army of volunteers, Living Walls and all of the raw youthful enthusiasm of the new D.I.Y. Street Art scene represents hope in an American city that she sees as having been abandoned, drained dry in the face of lowered economic prospects. “Since the 1990s, there’s been an overwhelming creative void in the city, as sort of ‘art-flight’,” says Parrish. “Many who galvanized the art scene in Atlanta left when it got too rough. Then, something like Living Walls comes around – with no money, no rhyme, no reason, in the midst of an urban sprawl least likely to care.”

Tika (photo © Martha Cooper)

In an economy that also feels abandoned and ever shifting downward in search of a new baseline, you can see a certain jadedness in the Millenial generation you wouldn’t have seen a few years ago, but here is a new ruggedness too.  Alexandra looks at the attitudes and the relentless efforts that a loosely woven group of art kids have made with little funding to create a genuine lifeblood. “Three years later, with the help of countless local businesses, foundations and individuals, it is overwhelmingly clear to us that yes, people do care.”

Here’s the evidence, an onslaught of walls shot by the dear Ms. Martha Cooper and expressly picked by her for BSA. We’re happy to share the bounty with you and this small interview with Monica. Ultimately these are fruits of labor by some who didn’t wait for permission to create a scene. It should be a surprise that they are accomplishing something that many urban planners and masters of industry have found illusive in cities during these harrowing economic times.

Says Parrish, “Our scrappy organization has somehow put Atlanta back on the map.

Tika atop her double walled portrait (photo © Martha Cooper)

Brooklyn Street Art: Because you worked closely with the community and a large team of volunteers, do the artists feel welcomed to the event?
Monica Campana:
Living Walls is an all-volunteer organization of about 60 people who act as staff or artists assistants – whatever role is needed. There are also about 30 different local restaurants that helped feed the artists during their 10-day stay in Atlanta, not counting the sponsors who hosted the artists and events during the conference. So many people are a part of each conference every year that it truly makes it a community project.

The whole city wants to welcome the invited artists, and during production week everyone will try to make an effort to make the artist feel welcome. Sometimes they show up to the events we are hosting or stop by the walls with water or food. During a giant family-style dinner given by a friend, one artist told me that she had heard we were nice in Atlanta but she was really not expecting this level of nice… I guess we really reinforce the “Southern Hospitality” concept here.

Sten & Lex (photo © Martha Cooper)

Brooklyn Street Art: How are festivals like this going to affect the greater Street Art scene, given that they are large, organized, and authorized?
Monica Campana:
Festivals of this kind are definitely affecting the street art scene, positively and negatively. I believe that as long a street art festival works with its community, educates, promotes conversations in their communities about street art/graffiti origins and its motivations, as long as it reactivates spaces and helps create community, then it’s all good. Street art should remain illegal, but I also believe that organized street art festivals can help as a platform for dialogue about this craft.

Sten & Lex (photo © Martha Cooper)

Brooklyn Street Art: Organizers spoke initially of this being the first and largest organized festival of female street artists together. Does that include festivals like the “B*Girl Summit” in 2005 and the rest of the “B-Girl Be” events of the late 2000s ?
Monica Campana: When we decided to mainly focus on female street artists for this year’s conference, we researched as much as we could to see if this had been done before. We found art shows, showcasing only girls in the street art world – we found graffiti jams only showcasing female graffiti writers- we found b-girl festivals – but we were not able to find a street art conference that showcased only women.

This was a conference with 5 days of events, the creation of 18 pieces of public art, and lectures discussing urbanism and gender roles in public spaces. Living Walls 2012, focusing on only female street artist, was the first of it’s kind as of yet – and hopefully it’s not the last one.

Members of the Atlanta community helped with a number of murals, like this one by Olive 47 (photo © Martha Cooper)

Brooklyn Street Art: Having primarily women on the scene this year, how was the work and the environment of Living Walls Atlanta affected?
Monica Campana: Working with primarily female artists gave LW a very different sensitivity. I don’t want to sound stereotypical, but in the past the guys have been more wild than the girls. This year it was amazing to see how the girls would wake up early, stick to their schedule, would be more aware of keeping things cleaner and safe.

The work on the streets also had a different feel and artists experimented with new materials, like yarn, colored powder, balloons and even hair weaves. Some murals even continued from their walls onto the ground. I feel like this year the artists wanted to push themselves more and experiment with their space in new ways.

Olive 47 (photo © Martha Cooper)

Brooklyn Street Art: Are you up for another year of Living Walls?
Monica Campana: Yes! This is the first year that I finished the conference wanting to start the next one right away. Every year it is so hard and so much work but we really are a family, and I cannot wait to continue working with everyone and planning for the next conference. I’m motivated by so many motivated and talented. We’re already planning to have next years desired lineup by this October.

Mon Ellis (photo © Martha Cooper)

Molly Rose Freeman (photo © Martha Cooper)

“Every day I wake up thinking about all the art we are putting on the streets, all the conversations being sparked by the art, all the love and hard work each artist puts into leaving something so great in our city.” – Monica Campana

Molly Rose Freeman (photo © Martha Cooper)

Martina Merlini (photo © Martha Cooper)

Martina Merlini (photo © Martha Cooper)

Jessie Unterhalter and Katie Truhn (photo © Martha Cooper)

Jessie Unterhalter and Katie Truhn (photo © Martha Cooper)

Indigo (photo © Martha Cooper)

Indigo (photo © Martha Cooper)

“It is a great feeling to know that we might be inspiring others. Here is the thing though…what Living Walls does for Atlanta, it can be easily done in any other city. I encourage everyone that wants to promote street art and the creation of new public spaces in their communities to do something like Living Walls.” – Monica Campana

EME (photo © Martha Cooper)

EME (photo © Martha Cooper)

Art Hs (photo © Martha Cooper)

Miso (photo © Martha Cooper)

 

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!

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Priceless Culture: Mexican Artist Neuzz in Atlanta For Living Walls 2012

Starting off the week we check in with Living Walls Atlanta for our fourth installment of 2012 and an inspirational installation by a Street Artist and painter from Mexico City named Neuzz.

Neuzz. Living Walls Atlanta 2012. (photo © Dustin Chambers)

NEUZZ

Text by Alexandra Parrish
Photos by Dustin Chambers and Wil Hughes
Video by Dustin Chambers and Wil Hughes, edited by Dustin Chambers 

Like species, neighborhoods are named endangered. Places lose their value, their splendor and charm over time as shoddy development moves in. Sweet Auburn District, which was once a lively area decades ago, was recently named one of United States’ most endangered places.

The neighborhood that holds Sweet Auburn District, the Old Fourth Ward, has experienced a similar decline. Namely, Edgewood Ave, which is littered with empty buildings and Styrofoam trash. It’s easy to overlook the historic value of the district upon first glance, yet many have measured the significance of O4W in other ways.

Neuzz, aka Miguel Mejía, came to Atlanta to experience the city of grit that reminds him much of his own, Mexico City. The historical determination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. initially attracted Neuzz to Atlanta, where he would complete a wall located in King’s district. His four week stint allowed him to develop a richer understanding of the area; the social and economic congruence to his home city in Mexico inspired him to transform the “sad wall” into art through his rich, vibrant colors.

Neuzz. Living Walls Atlanta 2012. (photo © Wil Hughes)

His assistant, Keif Schliefer, guided him through the process of completing his largest mural as of yet. The subject matter and motif of the wall comes from his heritage; his style and methodology is derived from his modern understanding. The composition and coloring was entirely influenced by the community – any kind of trash he found, he used as a stencil. His sketch likened a traditional costume-dance to celebrate rain and agriculture (the very rain that prevented work for five days) and incorporated the bees he handled at Keif’s house. Aside from being an artist, architect, civil rights activist and a former firefighter, Keif is also Living Walls Projects’ Chief Engineer and Logistics Director.

Some people grid out their walls while others project, but Neuzz simply laid out a solid base. His work is very symmetrical, yet he entirely relies on his paintbrush and his own hands to serve as his unit of measurement. While he went back and forth on the lift often to ensure proportions, the reward was sweeter in the end – Keif and Miguel developed new techniques, new approaches, that he will take with himself beyond Atlanta.

Neuzz. Living Walls Atlanta 2012. (photo © Dustin Chambers)

While Neuzz incorporated elements into his wall, the community became stakeholders in the mural. Keif would invite people up onto the lift, where they’d take photos of the wall, the skyline, themselves. While working he’d talk to people, entertain them, learn their stories. Everyone had his or her own experience. Neuzz has the invaluable knack of building relationships despite cultural differences.

One woman told me as she walked by that the wall offered the area “priceless culture.” As artists like Neuzz continue to donate their time enhancing this endangered area, revitalization will take a new meaning.

Neuzz. Living Walls Atlanta 2012. (photo © Wil Hughes)

Neuzz. Living Walls Atlanta 2012. (photo © Dustin Chambers)

Neuzz. Living Walls Atlanta 2012. (photo © Wil Hughes)

Neuzz. Living Walls Atlanta 2012. (photo © Dustin Chambers)

Neuzz. Living Walls Atlanta 2012. (photo © Dustin Chambers)

Neuzz. Living Walls Atlanta 2012. (photo © Dustin Chambers)

Neuzz. Living Walls Atlanta 2012. (photo © Dustin Chambers)

Neuzz. Living Walls Atlanta 2012. (photo © Wil Hughes)

To learn more about Living Walls Altanta: The City Speaks and to make a donation to help this year’s conference click here. BSA thanks you for supporting this good work.

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!

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Fun Friday 05.25.12

1.    Male Massage Poster from Manny Castro
2.    Reed Projects Now Open with “The Re-Jects” (Norway)
3.    “Vues sur murs” in Brussels
4.    “Vari-Okey” with Everman (Atlanta)
5.    A Classic from The Beastie Boys Gets a Tribute Remix – SABOTAGE! (VIDEO)
6.    Yue Minjun, Mark Jenkins and Aakash Nihalani (LA)
7.    Augustine Kofie’s Angle in LA
8.    (Re)-Print at Hendershot Gallery in The Bowery
9.    “Keep Wild Life In The Wild” At ThinkSpace
10.    “At Home I’m A Tourist” – Selim Varol at Me Collectors Room
11.    Cyrcle Daydreaming with James Lavelle (VIDEO)
12.  CELEBRATE BOB Moog : Moog Factory Mural Time Lapse (VIDEO)

Dear BSA Reader: Finding yourself at the end of another long hard week? Why don’t we all just go get a massage and release all that pent up anxiety and pressure? Thanks to Manny Castro for taking the photo of this ad and reminding us about the power of therapeutic touch.

Photo © Manny Castro

Reed Projects Now Open with “The Re-Jects” (Norway)

If you happen to call the port of Stavanger, Norway this weekend we recommend that as soon as you get off of your cruise head straight to Reed Projects where one of Street Art’s greatest rejects has mounted an art show to inaugurate his brand new gallery. The show “The Re-Jects” is now open to the public and the artists include: Dolk, Evol, Roa, Brad Downey, Escif, Dan Witz & Vhils.

Dolk in Brooklyn. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For further information regarding this show click here.

Vues sur murs” in Brussels

The Centre de la Gravure new show “Vues sur murs” In opens today and includes C215, Denis Meyers, Doctor H, Jef Aerosol, Evol, Ludo, Muga, Obetre, Sten & Lex, Invader and Swoon.

Jef Aerosol in Brooklyn. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For further information regarding this show click here.

 

“Vari-Okey” with Everman (Atlanta)

Living Walls The City Speaks Atlanta 2012 continues to bring world talented artists for all ya’ll. This Saturday Living Walls Concepts invites the public to be an active participant in the the festival with artist Everman. If you are interested in participating you must first stop by AM1690’s “Vari-Okey” event this Saturday, May 26 at the Goat Farm and sign up for Evereman’s workshop through ARTWORKS, the new digital platform that will transform your involvement in the Atlanta arts scene. Promise.

Everman (photo courtesy of Living Walls 2012)

For further information regarding this event click here.

A Classic from The Beastie Boys Gets a Tribute Remix – SABOTAGE! (VIDEO)

 

Yue Minjun, Mark Jenkins and Aakash Nihalani (LA)

The Carmichael Gallery in Culver City, CA has invited artists Yue Minjun, Mark Jenkins and Aakash Nihalani for the new show opening tomorrow.

Aakash Nihalani in Manhattan (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For further information regarding this show click here.

Augustine Kofie’s Angle in LA

I’m truly honored to have the chance to share a lot of these more dense collage works with my LA peoples,” says Augustine Kofie about his new show “Working an Angle” which opens Saturday at the Known Gallery in Los Angeles, CA.

Augustine Kofie in Los Angeles for LA Freewalls Project (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Click here to read an interview on BSA with Augustine Kofie

For further information regarding this show click here.

Also Happening this Weekend:

(Re)-Print at Hendershot Gallery in The Bowery in NYC. A mostly prints show showcasing some of your most beloved Street Artist. Click here for more details regarding this show.

“Keep Wild Life In The Wild” At ThinkSpace Gallery in Culver City, CA. This is an art exhibition with some of the proceeds form the sale benefiting Born Free with the participation of more than 100 artists from all over the world. It should be fun. Click here for more details regarding this show.

“At Home I’m A Tourist” An Exhibition showcasing works of art and toys from the vast collection of Selim Varol at Me Collectors Room in Berlin Germany. Click here for more details regarding this show.

Cyrcle Daydreaming with James Lavelle (VIDEO)

 

CELEBRATE BOB: Moog Factory Mural Time Lapse (VIDEO)

Dude, Wednesday was Bob Moogs’ 78th birthday. Cool right? Awesome. Here’s a brand new portrait on the side of the Moog factory in Asheville, North Caroline by artist local artist Dustin Spagnola.

 

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Living Walls Concepts Presents: Everman Invites The Public To Participate. The Goat Farm (Atlanta, GA)

Everman

The ubiquitous and iconic Evereman crafted a unique game for the city of Atlanta, attaching his distinctive emblem everywhere. Usually in the form of a wooden magnet, Evereman offers the city to interact with their surroundings by collecting and redistributing his art. Evereman is for everyone, or as he puts on the back of each piece, Evereman is “4 U ATL.”

This Memorial Day, Living Walls Concepts invites the public to participate in Evereman’s technique. Starting Sunday, May 27, participants will have the chance to create their own wooden magnets in Evereman’s studio to scatter about Atlanta and beyond the following day.

Want to get involved? First, stop by AM1690’s “Vari-Okey” event this Saturday, May 26 at the Goat Farm and sign up for Evereman’s workshop through ARTWORKS, the new digital platform that will transform involvement in the Atlanta arts scene. If you miss the event, check back to our website to sign up. Anyone and everyone should participate.

After the workshop, Evereman will create a mural intervention somewhere in Atlanta’s urban landscape. We’ll keep it secret for now, but when the time comes workshop participants will be notified where and can take part in the installation.

Workshop Signup
Saturday, May 26
8:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m.
The Goat Farm
1200 Foster St. Atlanta, GA 30318

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Interesni Kazki at Living Walls Atlanta

For our third installment in our series for Living Walls Atlanta: The City Speaks 2012 we are proud to present the Ukranian team of AEC and WAONE most commonly known as Interesni Kazki. The guys as usual are praised for their excellent craftsmanship and work ethic and, may we add, discipline. It must be hard to stay out of the bars when your spot is in the night-time entertainment district but then again maybe Interesni Kazki are of the abstemious sort. Whatever the case, their work and talent is garnering more attention daily in the Street Art world and beyond.

Interesni Kazki

Text by Alexandra Parrish
Photos by Dustin Chambers
Video by Dustin Chambers

Our process with artists is, in essence, quite simple – we house and feed the artists, purchase their paint and materials, and ensure mural completion by offering assistants and steady schedules. In reality, this simple process is foiled by secondary factors, namely weather and compelling distractions. However, when Interesni Kazki arrived in Atlanta, everything fell perfectly into place. They came here to paint with an impeccable work ethic.

Interesni Kazki (photo © Dustin Chambers)

AEC and WAONE of Interesni Kazki finished their large mural situated in the bar-heavy neighborhood of East Atlanta Village in only five days. They woke up early, ate a modest meal and set off to their wall. From dawn to dusk they meticulously incorporated every finishing touch to their work.

The completed mural epitomizes their signature style, integrating science fiction and religion with obvious Escher influences. The meaning, however, is left for interpretation. AEC noted early on that their work personifies a multitude of meanings. Four days into the process, Monica and I came up with an intoxicated interpretation after a bar crawl – the Shepard (who remarkably looks like Atlanta’s own Evereman) opens Pandora’s box which harvests the “Big Bang,” creating the solar system and human kind. Interesni Kazki’s work truly incites a heap of explanations.

The Ukranian duo plans to return to Atlanta later in the year to complete a much larger mural in the heart of downtown, hopefully to cook the Living Walls team more borscht.

Neuzz, fellow Wynwood Walls artist, and Evereman are next to follow.

Interesni Kazki (photo © Dustin Chambers)

Interesni Kazki (photo © Dustin Chambers)

Interesni Kazki (photo © Dustin Chambers)

Interesni Kazki (photo © Dustin Chambers)

Interesni Kazki (photo © Dustin Chambers)

Interesni Kazki (photo © Dustin Chambers)

Interesni Kazki (photo © Dustin Chambers)

Interesni Kazki (photo © Dustin Chambers)

Interesni Kazki (photo © Dustin Chambers)

Interesni Kazki (photo © Dustin Chambers)

Interesni Kazki (photo © Dustin Chambers)

Interesni Kazki (photo © Dustin Chambers)

Interesni Kazki (photo © Dustin Chambers)

Interesni Kazki (photo © Dustin Chambers)

To learn more about Living Walls Altanta: The City Speaks and to make a donation to help this year’s conference click here. BSA thanks you for supporting this good work.

 

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!

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La Pandilla and Trek Matthews in Cabbagetown for Living Walls Atlanta

Let’s start off the week with our 2nd installment of Living Walls in Atlanta for 2012, a splendid overview of Cabbagetown and the installation by three of this years participants creating new murals over a nearly two week stretch, just finished and fresh for you.

La Pandilla and Trek Matthews

Text by Alexandra Parrish
Photos by Dustin Chambers
Video by Albert Lebron

Before I engage you with an individual take of La Pandilla and Trek Matthew’s twelve-day long mural production, I must foray into a brief history lesson; Cabbagetown is a tight-knit neighborhood in Atlanta that is rich with folklore and idiosyncrasies. Adjacent to the Fulton Bag and Cotton Mills, the neighborhood began as a mill town complete with shotgun-style houses built by Jacob Elsas, the factory owner. After recruiting poor whites from the Georgia Appalachian region to work in his factory, Elsas offered free housing to compromise for insignificant wages and working conditions. Legend has it that the neighborhood assumed the moniker “Cabbagetown” after a truck-load of cabbages spilled across the neighborhood; many recount a brutal smell of cabbages that could be assumed to have followed the accident or maybe it just permeated from their kitchens.

La Pandilla (photo © Dustin Chambers)

After an extensive effort towards revitalization (some would say gentrification), Cabbagetown reigns as a treasured locality in Atlanta. Although Krog Tunnel features an ever-changing display of graffiti and street art, the CSX walls that enclose the neighborhood have remained four shades of grey. Surprisingly, when Living Walls contacted the Cabbagetown Neighborhood Association to allow La Pandilla, from Puerto Rico and Trek Matthews from Atlanta to paint two murals, they more than accommodated.

La Pandilla (photo © Dustin Chambers)

As soon as La Pandilla and Trek Matthews began on their wall, joggers, walkers and rubberneckers routinely stopped to chat and observe. Throughout production, community support yielded endless tokens of gratitude – fresh baked bread, beer runs, grilled cheese sandwiches, salvaged fresh-till packaged meals, oral histories and loud music. Even the infamous rogue buffer that verbally threatened La Pandilla (yes, Cabbagetown is home to it’s very own vigilante, occasionally violent buffer) grew to appreciate the finely detailed work that replaced decades of juvenile tags.

The truth is, Alexis Diaz and Juan Fernandez of La Pandilla are insane. Their method of using Chinese ink to translate immensely detailed drawings into full-scale murals costs a lot of time. Although they’d camp out at their wall from sunrise to sunset each day, they failed to finish on time. Hardly defeated, La Pandilla opted to stay an extra day and completed their 25-foot mural in their last hours.

La Pandilla (photo © Dustin Chambers)

Three blocks down, Trek Matthews, an emerging artist from Atlanta, began on his first public wall. His work incorporates a mash of Aztec patterns and Native American designs, which turns out nicely on the grey concrete. Despite the daunting height of his wall, Trek toughed it out on a scrappy extension ladder.

In a perfect world Living Walls would serve as proverbial residents of Cabbagetown forever. I could tell Juan felt the same way as he waved saying “bye y’all.

La Pandilla (photo © Dustin Chambers)

La Pandilla (photo © Dustin Chambers)

La Pandilla (photo © Dustin Chambers)

La Pandilla (photo © Dustin Chambers)

La Pandilla (photo © Dustin Chambers)

Trek Matthews (photo © Dustin Chambers)

Trek Matthews (photo © Dustin Chambers)

Trek Matthews (photo © Dustin Chambers)

Trek Matthews (photo © Dustin Chambers)

Trek Matthews (photo © Dustin Chambers)

Trek Matthews (photo © Dustin Chambers)

La Pandilla and Trek Matthews by Albert Lebron (VIDEO)

 

 

To learn more about Living Walls Altanta: The City Speaks and to make a donation to help this year’s conference click here. BSA thanks you for supporting this good work.

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“The Sunrise of Edgewood”, GAIA & Nanook open Living Walls Atlanta 2012

“The Sunrise of Edgewood”, GAIA & Nanook open Living Walls Atlanta 2012

The 3rd Edition of Living Walls begins this spring and BSA is pleased to again partner with Monica Compana and her team to bring you the action in Atlanta for 2012. Supporting the ATL efforts since they popped in ’10, we’ll again bring you updates from the field as the artists converge in Atlanta to bring color, vibrancy and a dialogue with Street Art in the city.

Officially the 2012 conference begins in August but we’ll be bringing you a series of installations leading up to it. This years quality lineup will be a bit more international and focused with skillz on display from Gaia, Nanook, La Pandilla, Trek Matthews, Interesni Kazki, Everman, Neuzz, Pablo Gnecco, and Liqen.

So right now we want to give a huge shout out to our partners in non-crime, writer Alexandra Parrish, who is also Director of Communications for Living Walls, Charles Flemming, Living Walls Media team photographer and Albert Lebron, videographer who will all be BSA contributors to bring to you dispatches from the field. Thank you and welcome.

Gaia and Nanook

Text by Alexandra Parrish
Photos by Charles Flemming
Video by Albert Lebron

Gaia and Nanook (photo © Charles Flemming)

In terms of mural making, Gaia and Nanook believe public art has the ability to designate place. They are hardly strangers to the rich history layered in the gridded streets of Atlanta. Last weekend, Gaia and Nanook returned to the heart of the south to participate in Living Walls Concepts, a year-round conduit to the conference, which aims to create a more intimate relationship between the artist and the community.

The sketch came naturally – the wall, located on Edgewood Avenue in the heart of Old Fourth Ward sits firmly in the neighborhood Martin Luther King Jr. called home. Gaia and Nanook opted for an equivocal face to represent the street itself – and the passerby’s whom they interacted with regularly; Which is something I’m sure they revel, as Gaia took the time to explain what he was doing to anyone who cared to ask.

After three days and a stunted thunderstorm, Gaia and Nanook named their finished wall “The Sunrise of Edgewood.”

Gaia and Nanook (photo © Charles Flemming)

Gaia also sent us a description of the project:

“The collaboration that Nanook and I produced on Edgewood avenue is an observation on the neighborhood’s changing complexion. Historically, the Fourth Ward is considered in many regards as the epicenter of the Civil Rights movement so naturally creating Martin Luther King Jr’s face just down the block from the King Home seemed logical.

But rather we created a portrait that was more ambiguous, an everyman face that faded into a rising sun. This vibrant visage is surrounded by a turmoil of rope and vine forms that nanook created which is derived from one of his early street pieces. Now the mural is surrounded by a contentious area whose gentrification is imminent like the endless cycle of the sun.”

Gaia and Nanook (photo © Charles Flemming)

Gaia and Nanook (photo © Charles Flemming)

Gaia and Nanook (photo © Charles Flemming)

Gaia and Nanook (photo © Charles Flemming)

Gaia and Nanook (photo © Charles Flemming)

“The Sunrise of Edgewood” by Albert Lebron (VIDEO)

 

 

To learn more about Living Walls Altanta: The City Speaks and to make a donation to help this year’s conference click here. BSA thanks you for supporting this good work.

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