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wallspot promo shot

Wallspot – The Legal Walls Management System

Wallspot is an organization and a system whose primary role is to manage legal walls, which are used for artistic interventions, where the public space has used as a means for creation. If you’ve wondered if such walls can be managed, then Wallspot answers that question since they offer a great solution.

Wallspot Origin and Philosophy

Wallspot seeks to provide an excellent solution for artists. The organization was formed under the idea of bringing together and integrating people who are engaged in art such as photographers, promoters, arts managers, the local government, as well as the general public. Wallspot aims to become an international platform that targets creators and urban art lovers.

The primary goal of the organization is to bring all kinds of professionals together and engage them in the art form, to create a community of global urban art. According to Wallspot, they view the public space as somewhere people can gather together, build collectively, and also an area where social transformation can take place. The organization fosters a social dynamic, which bridges the gap between the artistic community and the society, as well as bring new cultural values to the city.

Among other goals, Wallspot seeks to provide support to quality artistic creations. They are open to all kinds of disciplines, and all of these under just one social philosophy, which calls to see active participation in all sectors of the society.

Wallspot Team

Wallspot includes a great team of multidisciplinary programmers, creative designers, arts managers, curators, and sociologists. The good thing about the organization is that through its broad team of professionals, they are well able to understand and approach projects in various ways and even in an effective manner. Therefore, they offer an all-rounded vision.

The organization works on pioneering innovations that seek to unite urban art and technology.  That helps to gain more momentum and recognition around the globe as this significantly contributes to creating channels that allow the participation of the public.

Cultural Managers

Wallspot has a large portfolio of cultural managers that help to oversee and support what the organization is trying to do.

Some of these cultural managers include:

  • Rebobinart from Barcelona, Spain
  • RMUTL, Chiang Mai, Thailand
  • Rewriters010 from Rotterdam, the Netherlands
  • NotAnotherArtHub from Johannesburg, South Africa
  • BLED’ART Nkongsamba, Cameroun
  • Municipality of Agued, Agued, Portugal
  • Throwupgallery, Aberdeen Scotland
  • Nthililo studio art gallery and school
  • Cheltenham paint festival
  • SAUE government, Tallinn, Estonia
  • Doseculture, Longueui, Canada

Wallspot Services

Book a space Reserving a space for art projects, among other things, has been made easier thanks to Wallspot.

Add space – Another excellent service provided by Wallspot is that you can also add space. For those who are interested in this, know that Wallspot allows for space addition.

Donate space – they also offer the option of giving space for the right cause.

Wallspot Gallery

The Wallspot gallery is filled with great stuff. From the recent projects to the old ones, they have managed to come up with great works that continue to impact the communities across Europe and beyond.

When it comes to photography, Wallspot has done an excellent job. Their website has a portfolio of what they have done so far up to where they are currently. That’s something to keep an eye on – especially if you are an artist. They have also organized a lot of paint and art events around the world.

Wallspot Spaces

wallspot space available in montreal canada

Wallspot spaces available in Montreal

Some of the Wallspot spaces include:

Tres Xemeneies – The Tres Xemeneies is a wall that has excellent symbolic values, and it was the first wall of the Murslliures, Wallspot predecessor. It’s a Wallspot predecessor. For long, it has been a very remarkable space when painting Barcelona’s city. It is also among the most photographed places by people who love street art.

Agricultura – The Agricultura is the wall that is available and has the largest painting space in Barcelona. It measures approximately 2-10 meters high and circles an entire block. It is known for many artists going there to work together during weekends.

Selva de Mar – The Selva de Mar is the second-longest wall in Barcelona. It measures about 2 to 6 meters in height.

Western town – The town of the west is an exterior wall that has a façade on the front part. It boasts a range of areas to make interventions in a variety of supports.

Maria Reverter – Maria reverter is a wall that is located in private parking of approximately 40 meters long and 2 meters high. The wall is located in an old town in Barcelona, but it is precious. It has been saved from the real estate boom.

Carretera Barcelona – The Carretera is a wall that is located in one of the essential parts of the city. The wall is available for booking and includes a massive paint of Barbera del Valles.

Wallspot has created many artworks and spaces. As you can see, the organization strives to create amazing stuff and unite like-minded people together for a more significant cause. If you love art, then you should consider checking out what Wallspot has to offer for creatives. When a bit of exposure and connection with the right people is done correctly, a lot of things can happen, and the people can make a significant impact.

The spaces provided by Wallspot showcase just how efficient the organization is trying to create a better cause. Be sure to check them out.

 

Hillary Clinton mural

Hillary Clinton Mural that Caused Controversy

First it was a mural depicting a near-naked Hillary Clinton in a swimsuit with stars and stripes. The mural went viral, circulating around social media and causing criticisms of all kinds. The provocative painting was displayed on the wall of a small business building in the Melbourne suburb of Footscray.

Protests followed from Maribyrnong Council who called the mural offensive.

“We believe it is offensive because of the depiction of a near-naked woman, not on the basis of disrespect to Hillary Clinton, in accordance with the Graffiti Prevention Act 2007,” said Stephen Wall, CEO of Maribyrnong City Council.

hillary clinton mural wearing star spangled bathing suit with cash

That prompted Lushsux, creator of the mural, to add something extra to his painting – he painted some $100 notes stuffed in the swimsuit in reaction. This was also a response to Instagram after it suspended his account for posting the image on the social media platform. The artist’s account had already won over 100,000 followers.

The authority went further to claim that local residents were not happy with the painting and even threatened the owner of the building with the prosecution along with a fine if the mural was not removed. Of course, the mural went up during Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign so perhaps it created a negative image of her.

‘Hillary Clinton’ in a Burqa

Lushsux branded the calls to remove the mural as pathetic. Instead of removing the mural, he eventually covered up the swimsuit by painting a Burqa over it, leaving only the eyes showing. The Burqa is traditional outfit worn by Muslim women to cover their bodies in public.

hillary clinton mural by lushsux wearing a burqa

Next to the new work, he painted the message, “If this Muslim woman offends u, u r a bigot, racist, sexist Islamophobe.” He then posted on his new account, “This is no longer a wall of a supposed ‘offensive and near naked’ Hillary Clinton, it is now a depiction of a beautiful Muslim woman”.

Lushsux is no stranger to controversy

It’s not only Clinton who was handed the artist’s treatment and it wasn’t the first time the artist attracted media attention for his satirical paintings. Lushsux also painted and adjusted murals of the then Republican nominee Donald Trump and his wife, Melania across Melbourne. However, these murals didn’t receive harsh measures from the Instagram owner.lushsux controversial artist

He has also satirized extremely renowned celebrities in the past. In another mural, he displayed an image of singer Taylor Swift and captioned: “In Loving Memory of Taylor Smith, 1989-2016”, in reference to the pop star’s public conflict with rapper Kanye West. After Swift threatened to take legal action, Lushsux transformed that piece into one Harambee, the gorilla whose killing after a little child fell into his fenced area sparked outrage.

Of course, there are those who have no hard feelings towards the murals or how Lushsux express his ideas. Some even find the murals funny and create memes out of them. In any case, the murals live on and so is the artist. We can only wait for the next controversy he’s going to create.

Art United Us logo - The largest Urban art project

ArtUnitedUs – The Largest Urban Art Project

Art continues to grow all around the world, uniting different cultures wherever it touches. One special place where street art has recently made a major impact is in Kiev, Ukraine. Project ArtUnitedUs is taking the city’s look to a whole new level. Launched on March 16th, 2016, ArtUnitedUs claims to be the greatest urban art project which unites 200 of the best artists through mural art and the declaration of maintaining peace around the world.

ArtUnitedUs initiators are Ukrainian social figures Geo Leros, Wone Interesni Kazki, Ilya Sagaidak and Iryna Kanishcheva. On their website, they express that the artists were united by the forces to coordinate the strengths of art towards peace, regardless of whether it would be in Ukraine, Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine or Abkhazia.

As indicated by them, now is a period when propaganda of hostility and brainwashing create tensions on earth. This is the major reason why a line-up of international street artists will cooperate to create public awareness and direct attention towards the issues of war, animosity and violence.

The organizers are certain that murals are an immense weapon that will save the world. With 200 murals to be painted around the world, project ArtUnitedUs aims to create an entirely new history. The initial 100 murals will be made on the Ukraine territory and the other 100 in strategic places around the world, forming a “ring of peace”.

Notable Murals

about travelling mural by artem proot

“About Travelling” By Kyiv native Artem Proot

The painting by Artem Proot is about travelling into the places that make us better, giving us fascinating meetings and opens numerous new opportunities. He was helped by a 12-year old kid Oleskii, who is diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Apparently, the coordinators of the project will look into consideration the opportunity to draw children with handicaps into the way toward making art in Ukraine.

 

labyrinth mural by rustam qbic

Labyrinth mural by Rustam QBic

It was supposedly the first mural of the project, done by the Russian street artist at Dmytrivska 62/20. His Labyrinth mural portrays a character wearing a crown molded like a maze over his head who guided by scarab bug compass, who tries to discover an exit from a huge labyrinth of life difficulties. As per the artist, the mural reflects on the sense of this journey, an excursion we all undertake at some point in our lives.

 

shelter mural by paola delfin

“Shelter” by Paola Delfin

The Mexican artist works are usually influenced by illustration expressing beauty and a feminine sensibility through fragile drawing and natural structures. Her “shelter” mural in Kiev highlights the picture of a young woman with her arms traversed over her chest in a defensive, yet at the same time fragile and peaceful position. She doesn’t fear since she is sheltered. “Shelter” suggests that we all have a place of refuge, regardless of whether it is a person or a place we feel comfortable with.

Among the world-class artists

Some other big names that make up this project and whom we expect many interesting works from include:

108, 2501, Aaron Glasson, Andrew A. Antonaccio (2Alas), Adnate, Add Fuel, Agostino Iacurci, Alexey Luka, Alexei Kondakov, Andrew Hem, Ana Marietta,  Bik Ismo, Britcev Alexander, Bohdan Burenko, Cyrcle, Celso Gonzalez, Case McClaim, DALeast, Deih, Emmanuel Jarus, Edgar Saner, Ernest Zacharevic,  Evoca1, Ernesto Maranje, Filio Galvez, Faith47, Fintan Magee, Fin Dac, Fikos Antonios, Gaia, Grebeniuk, Guido Van Helten, Grino, Herakurt, Hyuro, Ilya Chichkan, INO, James Bullough, Jade Rivera, Jonny Alexander, JR, Jura Kanevski, Kenor, Liqen, Li-Hill, Moneyless, Mata Ruda, M-City, MTO, NeSpoon, Okuda, Olivier Bonnard, Os Gemeos, Pastel, Phlegm, Retna, Reka1, Ricky Lee Gordon, Rone, ROA, Sainer (Etam Cru), Sebastian Velasco, Sego, Sasha Kurmaz, Smates, Saddo Raul, Sten & Lex, Senekt, Speto, Storaz, Soke, Smitheone, Vero Rivera, Waone Interesni Kazki, Zio Ziegler, … and many others.

Peace.

juxtapoz homepage screenshot taken march 2017

Juxtapoz Online Magazine – digital art destination

Established by artists and collectors back in 1994, Juxtapoz is an online arts and culture journal that has remained a genuine champion of the contemporary art world. Made as the absolute opposite of the stuffy, antiquated scene, the San Francisco-based publication promoted and continues to promote artists, genres and galleries that were often neglected.

The online magazine’s staff from in-house in San Francisco has remained vigilant over the years, representing those with incredible potential and whom they believe in, and endeavoring to make art accessible to a worldwide audience. The magazine launched a mission to connect Surrealist traditions of figurative art, contemporary popular culture, psychedelic rock posters, and side show crack banners, Zap comics and EC comic books.

Juxtapoz has enjoyed two decades of online publishing covering several genres; from photography to painting, fashion, design, graffiti to street art. What they have done over the years is ensuring they have artists who have represented each of the specific styles and this is evident in the online magazine.

Why Juxtapoz stands out

Juxtapoz has remained relevant and a significant publication both in print and online for several years. Their success is cultivated by the mix of sharing creative energy to those interested in transforming art into a lifestyle.

They’ve never been comfortable covering one particular style – they continue to broaden their scope by mixing and matching content for art enthusiasts. Each of Juxtapoz’s monthly issues highlights photography, design, fashion, painting, graffiti, museums and current issues. The featured artists also continue to create fascinating and provocative arts.

Readership has also increased especially with the boom of social media. The magazine’s chief editor Evan Pricco acknowledges that the internet has been a game-changer by blending a bunch of creative arts together on the same platform. This includes lowbrow graffiti and street art. Readers also respect the fact that there’s so much going on in the field of art every month and they can also join the print magazine or online and have a piece of it.

The graffiti and street art cultures have grown with the internet over the years and have used the ability to share information through social media. The ability for someone in South America to see their comrade in Paris sharing a mural they saw in the street broadened the magazine’s audience. The works of famous graffiti and street artists like Blu, Conor Harrington, Ericailcane and visual artist Herbert Baglione, just to mention, are now easy to spot and share.

The rise of creative culture has also seen more people becoming interested in art school, design jobs, film, photography and even painting. There are millions who want to attend art fair these days and that translates to a wide fan base. Others want to take street art photos and create Instagram murals. All these fuels the magazine’s readership and Juxtapoz, in turn, tries to inspire their audience with works from various artists.

With a new issue every four weeks, the magazine gives artists the opportunity to create things that they want to create. The big part of it is making art accessible to people who are frightened by institutional art.

mathieu tremblin and colleague finish up a work of art

The Artist who Makes the Illegible Legible: Meet Mathieu Tremblin

Graffiti is one area of street art that appears to divide feeling the most. The issue of whether it’s art or not is one which we’ve all been involved in.

Yet when it comes to tagging, the vast majority would likely concur that it’s the most repulsive sort of street art. And, what’s significantly more irritating is that it’s quite often illegible. But there’s one man who takes the ugly pieces and transforms them into beautiful, legible artwork.

The name is Mathieu Tremblin. Based out of two diverse French urban cities, Rennes and Arles, Tremblin has an inconspicuous method of making people think somewhat harder.

Style

Tremblin’s work concentrates on issues of ordinary city life, branding and graffiti society. He believes that these pressing issues are best communicated through urban interventions. His pieces figure out how to emerge in Europe’s swarmed graffiti scene, with his greatest works featuring a minimalist look at first impression, just to uncover testing, however, energetic goes up against city culture.

Works and Ideologies

Most of his art can be seen in his two French hometowns. There, he collaborates with his accomplice in the art scene “Ripoulain” and with photography collective “BIP”. His work can also be found in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany.

Project Tag Clouds was born out of Tremblin’s understanding as a street artist. He used to be a tagger and felt the name composing graffiti and particularly tagging, is the ground premise of self-expression in an urban space.

project tag clouds showcasing graffiti repurposed

The artist discovers graffiti tags on buildings, highway underpasses in French towns and garage doors. He lists them, erases them and re-paints them in clear, digital-style typeface – Arial, Times New Roman, Helvetica or Georgia. Tag Clouds is about uncovering that tagging on the chance that you follow and read it; it’s an approach to go through the city in a new perspective.

By using digital typeface, Tremblin doesn’t just make the words neat-regardless of the possibility that they don’t appear to bode well-but additionally makes likenesses to ‘word clouds’ found online, considering on the contrast amongst advanced and physical tags.

mathieu tremblin project tag clouds graffiti turned street art

Tremblin’s interventions are a celebration of graffiti tags rather than a critique. Random graffiti writing used to be viewed as the ugly art in the city but Tag Clouds is out to make a tribute to random writing so that individuals accepts its visual presence by reading it.

Mathieu believes street art tagging is a reaction to an undeniably ‘consumerist space’ in urban areas, brimming with advertising on every surface. And that according to him diminishes the individual articulation of residents to a matter of decision between brands.

project tag clouds by mathieu tremblin

Tremblin’s art continues to inspire many cities, appearing as analysis on a particular point as examined in his work. His work makes a city more energetic, poetic and open to appointment. He’s still open to the idea that can notice and destroy his work since vandalism is in itself an approach to make destructive conversation. Hope you’ll love and appreciate his work, though.

magic finnga wond with students in thunder bay painting macs streetart mural

Mural Project in North Bay Brings Community Together

One of the greatest things about street art and murals, in particular, is their ability to bring people together. This is not only true in the way murals and street art interact with the everyday person, ie. through viewing and playing with pieces of public art, but also in their creation. All around the world, mural programs reach out to community members and introduce people to the power of art, and give them the tools and skills to start or continue their own artistic journey.

Here on the MuralForm blog, we have dedicated a lot of space to the many mural programs we hear about and witness, both locally in Toronto and around the world. It is an important part of who we are and why we do what we do. And today we have yet another incredible example of a mural arts program doing good in a community. This time in North Bay, Ontario.

In the northeastern Ontario town, a local Mac’s decided it was time to give back to the community that has served them so well, and they did it through a simple yet powerful donation: the large wall on the side of their building. A plain wall by any standards, Mac’s convenience store owners, along with North Bay Police and Near North Crime Stoppers, decided to get the local kids and youth involved in a beautification project. The goal: teach the kids how to make murals and paint the wall with a memorable a beautiful piece of street art. They called the project Mac’s StreetArt initiative and it was a huge success from the moment it got started.

mural painted in thunder bay

To make the project a reality, the Mac’s StreetArt initiative invited Toronto muralist and graffiti artist Magic “Finnga” Wong to their town. Together, they started a three-day program that encouraged participation in every single facet of the mural, from coming up with the design to the actual painting.

Magic Finnga Wong helped the many locals who came out and participated learn the finer points of spray painting, all while teaching them the code of street artists. Namely to respect each other’s work and to contribute to the community rather than to desecrate it. “When you invite the kids from the neighbourhood or anyone in general from the area to come out and paint it makes it theirs,” he said in an interview with Sudbury. “It becomes ownership to the neighbourhood.”

The piece, now finished, is a testament to the power of murals to not only beautify space but enrich people’s lives. Now, these community members have the start of the skills they need to continue on their personal artistic journey. Who knows, the next great graffiti artist may have got their start painting the Mac’s wall in North Bay, Ontario!

artscape 2016 website front page

Street Art Festival: Artscape

Scandinavia is famous for a great number of things. Vikings, great fish, socialism. They’re also home to a young street art festival that’s been steadily growing in size, scope, and ambition for the past couple of years. Started in 2014 in Malmö, Sweden, the Artscape Street Art Festival creates new public art to compete with the billboards and advertisements that are scattered throughout the city. To use their own words: “Great art shouldn’t be confined to only galleries and museums!”

mural by rone being painted on side of a tall building during artscape 2016

The festival began as Scandinavia’s only street art festival and focused on giving space to artists from around the world. When the festival was in full  swing during the summer months of July and August, you could find a great number of artists from around the world. Australia’s Rone, for example, could be seen painting a giant mural on the side of a 12-storey apartment building. The UK’s Cityzen Kane was there as well, along with Sweden’s own Yash. The size and scope of the murals varied greatly, but in the two years that Artscape was in Malmö, the amount of visible and beautiful street art increased substantially.

completed mural by rone at artscape 2016

by Rone

Artscape, the namesake nonprofit organization for the festival, doesn’t just put on one event per year, however, they are active in Sweden and Europe all year long. In fact, they recently unveiled a brand new art project that “remixes” one of Malmö’s oldest landmarks: the famous griffin statue in the city’s square. Constructed in 1437, the griffin was a gift from King Eric XIII to the city, whose coat of arms includes a griffin. Artscape, thinking that 600 years was long enough before doing some a little different, hired three artists to create a new approach to the statue.

mural by zadok from artscape 2015

by Zodak

The three artists, Zadok, Christina Angelina, and Bless, used a variation of the Exquisite Corpse technique, popularized by the surrealist movement, to each create a component of the new Malmö griffin. Each artist took a turn creating a new part of the griffin, with the next artist then adding their concept afterwards. According to Artscape, they “decided to add a humble human to symbolise the people of Malmö. After creating three striking characters, each in a totally different style, the different segments of the wall were switched around to form three new incarnations of the city’s symbol.”

mural by bless at artscape

Bless

The Artscape Street Art Festival moved for 2016 to Gothenburg, Sweden’s second largest city next to Stockholm, and has expanded in kind. With double the population over Malmö, Gothenberg represents a brand new canvas on which some of the world’s, and especially Europe’s, greatest street artists can create, collaborate, and share with people around the world. In just two short years, Artscape transformed Malmö. Now Gothenberg could experience a similar transformation.

 

celebrating wall to wall mural festival in winnipeg

Winnipeg Hosts Month-long Wall-to-Wall Festival

Last September, Winnipeg’s north end was home to a month-long celebration of public art. The event was called the Wall-to-Wall festival and was put on by Winnipeg’s Synonym Art Consultation. It also gave a facelift to one part of the city that could use more colour and artistic celebration.

The Consultation organized two groups of artists to create two gigantic murals that are now part of Winnipeg’s north end. One group, headed by a 17 year-old artist from Nunavut named Parr Josephee, created a mural that you can now see at 611 Main Street. The other group, lead by local artist Kenneth Lavallee, painted a mural dedicated to murdered and missing Indigenous women. “I’m from the North End, too, so this is my hood. It’s a way of having some ownership of your neighbourhood,” Lavallee said in an interview with Metro News. “The idea was to dedicate it to the cause of missing and murdered aboriginal women and have a nice, subtle way to say, ‘hey, we’re still here, we’re still important.’”

mural from wall to wall in winnipeg

Josephee designed her mural with South-American artist pair Bruno Smoky and Shalak Attack. The piece focuses on proposed seismic tests that may occur in Clyde River, which Inuit fear will affect narwhal and other marine mammals. The piece features “features two narwhals with lungs full of water and other life.” Josephee says the piece is in solidarity with that fight.

Josephee is also excited to contribute to Winnipeg’s growing art scene. “It’s amazing,” she said in an interview with the CBC. “When I was younger, I didn’t think I was going to be a part of any murals or anything. I wasn’t expecting this and I’m so happy I’m a part of this.”

aerial view of mural from wall to wall mural festival in winnipeg

Winnipeg artists and volunteers got a little help from outside the city as well. The Toronto-based art collective PA Systems also came out to help organize, prime walls, and paint the murals. A member of the group, Alexa Hatanaka, says public art is an important part of the modern world because it engages people in their everyday lives. “Public art really engages people in a way that’s different,” she told Metro News. “There are so many difficult things we face on this planet that sometimes it’s hard to sit down on the computer and read about it. But art engages you in a different way to start thinking about important issues. I think it’s special in that way.”

The Wall-to-Wall’s willingness to be political and help beautify an area of their city proves that art festivals can be about much more than aesthetics. These pieces reflect real struggles facing communities across the country and in their immediate area, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the hard work of the festival volunteers.

street mural being painted on a street in Toronto, ON

Toronto Road Murals Cause Stir

When you walk through Kensington Market in Toronto, the last thing you would consider out of character is drawings on the street. The longtime hub for vintage clothing, quirky bars, and hipster dining establishments, the area has built a reputation on being very different from the rest of Toronto. But this year, artist proposals for a road mural caused more than a disagreement, it turned into a fight at City Hall.

Last year, Toronto’s city councilors considered banning road murals, citing that they “place considerable administrative, regulatory, and maintenance burdens on the city.” The decision was met with considerable opposition by local artists and community members, who say public art installations can beautify and bring people together.

For one local resident in particular, Dave Meslin, the reasons for the potential ban didn’t make any sense. “We’re not asking for money. We’re not asking for staff to come and help us paint,” he told Metro News earlier this year. “We’re just asking for permission.”

With the potential backlash from community leaders and residents in different parts of Toronto, the City decided instead to opt for a pilot program. From August to October of this year, they allowed street mural painting on specific streets in Kensington Market. The designs, materials, and the process would all have to be put through the project for review, but ultimately the program went ahead.

With permission to move forward, the Kensington Market business association found artist Victor Fraser, who stenciled all the paintings for the mural. Community members were then invited to paint in the drawings. A special vinyl paint was used for all of the murals, which is supposed to last for six to nine months and withstand rain, snow, and more.

Artist Victor Fraser decided to highlight Kensington Market’s famous food scene, creating images of fresh foods that draw on computer iconography. “A lot of people work on the computer, and they don’t realize the reality of reality,” he told The Toronto Star in an interview. “I tried to represent their computer styles, which is very choppy, crisp, and hard, and that’s the best way to have vegetables.”

The street murals have now all been completed as of October, 2016 and have each elevated the beauty and artistic wealth of the area, and indeed the city. The collaborative effort at every step, from the fight to have the murals to the design of the items to the interactive elements in their creation, the murals represent how a community can lobby, design, and create something that betters their neighbourhood.

The pilot project may result in four more murals for the Kensington Market area but the idea is spreading to other areas of the city. Community activist Dave Meslin hopes these types of projects will be more common and widespread throughout Toronto.

website header from the cambridge street art festival

The Cambridge International Street Art Festival

We have covered a number of different festivals that have happened over the years. They’re often in incredible cities, like Hong Kong or Sydney; big cities encouraging artists to come out and beautify the streets. But street art festivals aren’t simply happening in big cities, they’re happening everywhere, including the sleepy town of Cambridge, Ontario.

Situated on the slopes of the Grand River, Cambridge is perhaps most famous for sharing its name with a well-known English university, and as a growing place with a great sense of history. What many people don’t know is that it has an amazing relationship with the arts and is a natural fit for its own street art festival, which celebrated its second anniversary this year.

graffiti style street art mural painted at the cambridge street art festival

The Cambridge International Street Art Festival had its start in Florida, of all places, where the festival’s founders came across the Lake Worth Street Painting Festival. The two were instantly inspired by the thousands that had attended and, to put it in their words, “the magical abilities of truly amazing artists creating art, with chalk (or pastels) on the streets.”

The festival has many of the activities and events that you would expect from a street art festival. The city has set aside spaces where artists can create beautiful murals, some of which will become more permanent fixtures in the already beautiful city. Attendees can come by and see the art being made, go to panels about art and street art, and even screen a couple of cool documentaries.

young boy standing next to chalk board art wall at the cambridge street art festival

What makes the Cambridge International Street Art Festival unique is its encouragement of artists of any level to come out and participate. Their chalk art program provides free chalk to anyone who wants it and offers spaces for them to draw up murals, cartoons, or whatever they want. While obviously popular for children, the Festival encourages all attendees who want to draw to come and contribute. And while it gets washed away in the first rain, the pieces people create can be truly beautiful and inspiring.

mural artist sitting next to a perspective mural piece rendered on the street at the cambridge international street art festival

By celebrating local artists and encouraging attendee participation, the Cambridge International Street Art Festival offers a more intimate and unique festival experience than ones further down the road in Southern Ontario. You can see the art truly up close and interact with the artists in a more relaxed environment. Plus, Cambridge is a beautiful city only enhanced by its open embrace of the festival and the artwork it facilitates. Plus, its commitment to participation means you can connect with regular people trying out art, and artists wanting to try something different.

If you live in Southern Ontario, the Cambridge International Street Art Festival is an excellent way to escape the big city and see street art up close. It happens every year in August. Next year’s festival is still taking applications for artists and volunteers, so there’s still a chance to participate.