A component in the all-around amazing time I had in Atlanta last weekend, I talked to Blacki Li Rudi Migliozzi and Monica Campana about Living Walls, a scrappy, grassroots conference of street artists, culture jammers, filmmakers, flash lecturers and even a Georgia Tech architecture prof. It’s all officially happening August 13-15. Artists are coming from all over the world (many will be in town as early as August 7, making this a weeklong event!) to paint, wheatpaste and discuss their work in terms of “urbanism”—or understanding the city at the level of the city. In Monica’s words, it’s “street art summer camp,” and EVERYONE is invited to participate. If you’re in Atlanta, come one and all—everything’s free and open to the public (check their website for scheduling details…also head over to Eyedrum’s website). If you’re not in Atlanta and want to participate, send art! Send a poster. Someone WILL put it up for you.
(Chris Stain, participating artist, NYC)
A huge part of why this conference is so exciting to me, being a born and bred Mississippi girl, is that it’s happening in the Deep South, where there is a notorious absence of street art culture, with the exception of some (often sloppy) graffiti. This isn’t to say that there is no street art or good graf, but the culture doesn’t have the history or virality of that in coastal cities.
Things may come to us slow as molasses down here, but eventually we do catch on and offer our own deep-fried, sunbaked perspective, and right now in Atlanta, there’s a contagious freshness and vibrancy in the alternative art scene. I noticed this in the gallery shows I attended last weekend, as well as in Monica and Blacki’s enthusiasm, in gallery conversations between exhibiting artists and non, and essentially everywhere I came into contact with this community. And Living Walls will only propel the scene. After a week of sanctioned and non-sanctioned getting up in Atlanta, by the city’s own artist and those visiting, Atlanta may end up looking like my old Bushwick neighborhood. Brooklyn (and everywhere!), welcome to the South! Can we offer you some cornbread and greens with your spraypaint?
For my interview with Monica and Blacki, head over to my Juxtapoz blog.