One of the selected regional artists of 352walls, Rachel Sommer, tells us about the experience.
What does it mean? Did you name it anyhow?
For me the ocean and the birds represent freedom…it’s a girl just on the shoreline and she’s looking off into distance…So she’s very close to her freedom but she has this giant cage of a clock around her and its trapping her…but there’s also all of these cracks in the clock so her cage is breaking away. The piece is about feeling like your stuck but also remembering that it’s just a mentality and that you are really always free. Having said all that; it is an untitled piece. I don’t usually name my artwork because I want each viewer to draw their own conclusions as to what it means so it will be more personal to them.
Yeah… I personally would say it is something about time, past, future or alternative reality. Tell me about the experience, how was that?
I had a very positive experience. I had a lot of fun getting to know the other artists and seeing their designs unfold. This environment was a lot of fun to work in as we were able to discuss techniques, our favorite materials, and the general ins and outs of working as an artist. It was interesting to hear what the other artists thought about the project and about art in general as we all have very different styles, methods, and art backgrounds.
How do you feel about the building and location being chosen for the project?
I especially love that this building was chosen for all of us as it was a great size and it already had the panels divided. I also like the location, as it is in a part of downtown that is currently pretty run-down but is said to be an up and coming arts district of Gainesville.
Discount Hi Fi, 722 S Main St, Gainesville, FL 32601
Did you meet any difficulties?
I felt that overall the festival was very well organized and well managed by everyone involved. I am so impressed by the organization and how you brought this innovative idea to the city council members completely on your own and got this festival started! It truly is a big step forward for art and culture in Gainesville.
Haha, thank you, Rachel!
I was very happy to see that all of the organizers were excited to have us there painting and were very encouraging and eager to see the progress we were making. We had a massive response from many members of the community. People driving and biking by were very interested in what we were doing and who commissioned us to be there, also people who live in that area or have a local business were very supportive of us and also intrigued by the art we were creating. I am so happy to have been a part of this project, it’s the start of an arts movement for this city.
Any suggestions for the future? Something that you would like to change?
The only changes I could think of would be more communication about the issue with the borders prior to everyone starting and perhaps to have the measurements of the panels listed on the Call to Artists so that each artist can mentally prepare. It would have also been nice to meet with the artists beforehand to discuss what the other designs would be and what colors the other artists would be using.
Thank you! I’m happy you joined our amazing team!