COLOMBIAN ARTISTS TO SPLASH MORE COLORS ON THE BLUES
Four internationally known Colombian street artists are coming to the crossroads. Unlike Robert Johnson, they aren’t coming to the Mississippi Delta to sell their souls to the devil at midnight. They are coming to Clarksdale to paint the town red, as well as green, blue, yellow – all the colors.
Known as the birthplace of blues music, an attraction for tourists from around the globe, Clarksdale has a colorful past, but while its music is still thriving, its downtown is in need of freshening up. All over the world street art is brightening communities, enhancing their visual appeal and even playing a role in economic development.
Bogota, Colombia is one of the world capitals of street art. Fantastic, varied and colorful paintings have turned entire neighborhoods into outdoor art galleries that attract visitors and new business, and foster pride in their residents.
On September 15th, four well-known, highly-regarded street artists (graffiteros) from Bogota will arrive in Clarksdale to spend two weeks painting walls in the downtown area. They will work with local artists who will also be encouraged to paint murals of their own, give workshops to local kids in after school programs and contribute a new palette of colors to the international appeal of the blues.
Who Are These Graffiteros?
Inspired by architecture and public spaces, Dast’s work is abstract, using geometric graphical and colorful shapes, lines and textures with a high level of detail. He has painted in the streets and interiors and exteriors of buildings and participated in exhibitions in Miami, Boston, Vancouver, Tokyo, Paris, Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Ecuador and, of course, Colombia where he lives.
Industrial designer, street painter and night illustrator. A mixture of images and writing born from musical influences, street jargon and popular phrases inform her work. She has painted in the streets and exhibited in museums and galleries in Los Angeles, Miami, Mexico City, Bremen and Berlin Germany and all over Colombia.
Gerson HrZ Fonseca
Working alone and with an artistic collective called Monstruacion he produces images that are sometimes grotesque, beautiful and humorous but removed from the normal concept of beauty and highly technical in their execution. His work has been done on walls and exhibited in Paris, Copenhagen Denmark, Ecuador and all over Colombia.
With an educational background in graphic arts, she is known for her bright, colorful work that celebrates women and children in particular. She directs and manages artistic, social and workshop programs largely focused on women and children. She has painted and exhibited in the U.S., France, Germany, Belgium, Brazil, Cuba, Peru, India, Japan and Colombia.
HOW DID THEY GET TO CLARKSDALE, MISSISSIPPI
Eric Stone, previously an international journalist, moved to Clarksdale a little over five years ago. Among the many subjects that he covered in his career were art and economic development. About two years ago on a trip to Colombia he became fascinated with the street art in the country and its role in developing and revitalizing poor neighborhoods as well as enhancing the appeal of urban areas. He began working on a book about the street art of Bogota.
On one of his research trips he was accompanied by Meghan Maike, an artist and singer / songwriter who also moved to Clarksdale around five years ago. Meghan was also strongly taken with the street art in the city and interested in learning its techniques to bring back to her work in Mississippi.
Spending time with a number of the street artists in Bogota, led the two of them to plan to bring some of the Colombian artists to Clarksdale to paint walls in the downtown area and promote public art in the city. Paint The Town 2018 was hatched.
An initial grant was applied for and received from Clarksdale Revitalization, Inc., an organization that pursues the revitalization of the city’s downtown core through public art and beautification projects.
That grant was then matched by a grant from the PORCH Society (Preservation of Rural Cultural Heritage), an organization that promotes cultural exchanges between rural and urban U.S. areas and creative people of all sorts.
Then the people of Clarksdale got excited about the project. A Go Fund Me campaign raised nearly as much money as both grants put together.
WHAT ARE THE ARTISTS GOING TO DO IN CLARKSDALE
They will spend two weeks painting several prominent large walls in the downtown area. A number of other walls have been donated to the project by the owners of the buildings and depending on time and inclination the visiting artists will work on those, possibly in conjunction with a number of local artists who have been encouraged to get involved in the project.
There will be two lunches with the visiting artists at which local artists and they can meet, talk and learn from each other. These are intended to facilitate any collaborations that might occur between the local and visiting artists.
There will be a workshop held in two sessions, one each week, with any kids who are interested, with the participation of the local after school programs: Griot, Meraki and Spring Initiative.
There will be two nights of Latin music at Hambone Gallery, curated by Likmi Soberana, one of the visiting artists who is also a well-regarded DJ.
Collectible small works by the visiting artists: prints, drawings, stickers, jewelry will be on display and for sale at Hambone Gallery and the Coahoma Collective.
On Saturday September 29, from 2-6pm there will be a dedication and party to celebrate the completed murals, at Hambone Gallery with music by Libby Rae Watson and Big A and the Allstars.
A complete schedule with dates and times of events will be posted on the Facebook Event page at: https://www.facebook.com/events/2159055384135661/
For more information please contact Eric Stone at email@example.com