Welcome to GNV Urban Art! A guide to the street art scene and urban culture in and around Gainesville, Florida. The GNV Urban Art does not in any way endorse vandalism or the use of graffiti for the defacement of private or state-owned property.
Editor-in-Chief and Photographer of gnvurbanart.com, Iryna Kanishcheva is a well-known figure in the street art world. She has founded and curated the first urban art project in North Florida, 352walls. She was also the official photographer for the project. Iryna is Co-Founder and Co-Curator of ArtUnitedUs, The Co-Founder and Curator of Grove Street Neighborhood, Consultant and contributor to many urban art projects.
Iryna was born and raised in Lviv, a city in west Ukraine. She received her BS in Business Management and her MS in Pharmaceutical Technologies at Lviv Polytechnic, the National University. Upon graduating, she moved to the capital of Ukraine. In Kiev, Iryna has had a career as a Pharmacist, Pharmaceutical Representative, and a Pharmaceutical Sales Manager/Field Force Manager. While she thoroughly enjoyed her work within the pharmaceutical sector, she has always known that the field of art is what she is most passionate about.
In 2011, Iryna relocated to Normandy, France, the birthplace of Impressionism. While in France, she had the opportunity to visit many local museums and art events and also happened upon an amazing street art festival (Le Festival Kosmopolite 2011, Paris). From that moment on, she became deeply interested in street art and began seeking out and photographing all that she viewed and was impressed by. These have included works in France, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Switzerland, and the Netherlands.
Iryna has lived in Gainesville since February 2013. Eight months after her arrival, she organized a solo exhibition of her European Street Art documentary photography at the Display Gallery. After attending events in the US such as Art Basel Miami, RAW Project, the Sarasota Chalk Festival and The Downtown Hollywood Mural Project, Iryna decided to bring the Urban Arts that she fell in love with years ago, to her new hometown of Gainesville, Florida.
In June of 2015, Iryna organized her first mural project with Italian artist 2501. This mural later became the first mural of 352walls and was included in 2501’s ‘Glimpse of America’ documentary. During one year of the project produced: 11 murals by Internationally famous artists, among them the biggest mural in Gainesville by Interesni Kazki duo; 7 art interventions by Add Fuel; 10 murals by local artists among them Rachel Sommer…
Iryna has initiated a row of engaging community activities:
July of 2015 Iryna initiated the ‘Repurpose Project,’ by creating a mural on The 34th St Wall using donated and expired paint. Her 6-minute film about this project, along with photography of the 34th’s wall graffiti art, were showcased at the GRAFF ART PARTY– a family event at the Tower Road Library. Teaming up with children’s librarian Alix Freck, Kanishcheva introduced people of different ages to the Graffiti World, using spray and acrylic paint, stencils, fake wall, books, video and other media. Later in February of 2016 Iryna participated in 352Creates, free creative activities that promote health and community engagement, introducing one of the street art forms Yarn Bombing.
For her project 352walls Iryna was awarded 2015 “Public Art Award: for the significant contribution to the enhancement of the greater environment through public art. Kanishcheva exceeded several of the listed criteria, such a “creation of one or more significant pieces of public art,” “major involvement in public arts programs,” “creation of new and innovative arts programs and new venues,” and “a commitment to public art to the community through permanent and/or temporary installation.”
…While not the artist for any of them, Iryna is entirely responsible for making the project come to life. Iryna has single-handedly created something in Gainesville that did not exist … and has done so “the right way” by reaching out to some of the world’s most accomplished muralists. If the full extent of her vision is realized, this inaugural effort will lead to an annual expansion of mural art in the Gainesville area, with contributions by local/regional artists. Beyond the murals themselves, Iryna has also provided Gainesville and the arts community with something even more important – inspiration and a tangible example of what one person can accomplish if properly educated and motivated. Vision. Drive. Passion. Energy. Professionalism. – Howie S. Ferguson, Assistant Director and Senior Project Manager with the University of Florida’s Division of Facilities Planning and Construction.
Since December of 2015 Iryna has been working as Co-Curator remotely on one of the biggest mural projects in the world with a line-up of 200 internationally famous artists – ArtUnitedUs. The first mural of the project took 4th place in the TOP10 the most popular street art pieces in the world according to Street Art News. Among other significant works: the tallest wall in Europe, the first “legal whole train“, unique artwork in Chernobyl to acknowledge the 30th anniversary of the disaster, a mural in ATO zone, frontline city in Ukraine, and more… For this project, she has received a special Gratitude from the Mayor of Kiev Vitali Klitschko for the introduction of new ideas and decoration of the Capital of Ukraine with a mural series. As well as a Gratitude from the Ministry of Information Policy of Ukraine for civic activity, promotion of Ukraine, and creating art objects of Worldly importance.
The latest project Iryna has begun in January 2017, is Grove Street Neighborhood, a community initiative that aims to beautify and revitalize the historic, inner city of Gainesville, FL. Supported by only volunteers and ordinary people, the project brought together many regional creatives (Proclamation).
Iryna is acting also as a Consultant and Media Coordinator for urban art projects, among them Art (Re)Public, Jacksonville, FL. The city’s first international art and mural expo aims to establish the urban core as a nationally recognized art district, in all forms, mediums and scale, including architecture and design.
As a photographer, Iryna has contributed to numerous publications for the most relevant street art galleries on the web and magazines such as Instagrafite, Brooklyn Street Art, Graffiti Street, Urbanite, Arrested Motion, Street Art News, Graffiti Art Magazine (issue #28, #31, #32), Uninhibited Urban Art Magazine (issue #4, #6), Stuart Urban Art Magazine (issue #2), and more. See the list of publications about Gainesville here. Worldwide: List of organized murals / Mentions in press.
2013 – Street Art in Europe. Photographs and video projection. Display Gallery, Gainesville, Florida
2015 – Work of “352walls” line-up artists, photographs documented in different places throughout the USA. 352walls opening night. Historic Thomas Center, Gainesville, Florida
2016 – Graff Art Party. Photographs. Tower Road Library, Gainesville, FL
2016 – 352walls: murals & progress. Photographs. Historic Thomas Center, Gainesville, Florida
2016 – Paradise Cities: Urban Art in Florida. Group show, photographs. Morean Arts Center, St. Petersburg, Florida
2017 – Transparent. TEDxUF group show, photographs. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, Gainesville, Florida
2017 – Street Art Photography Workshop. Talk and photo expo. Wynwood Life Festival, Miami, Florida
2017 – Layers. Photographs, video projection, and installations. Garry R. Libby Gallery, UF, Gainesville, Florida.
2017 – STINOPYS/ Streets of the USA. Photographs, talk. America House, Kiev, Ukraine
2016 – Urban art in Gainesville and around the world, Gainesville Barcamp, Gainesville, Florida
2017 – Murals and communities, Gainesville Barcamp, Gainesville, Florida
2017 – Connecting communities through public art, TEDxUF, Gainesville, Florida
ALL THE IMAGES AND TEXT BY © IRYNA KANISHCHEVA, UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED. YOU ARE WELCOME SHARING GNV URBAN ART CONTENT FOR NON-COMMERCIAL PURPOSES AS LONG AS YOU CREDIT IT. THANKS!