Would you rather go to see the work of internationally famous anonymous artist Banksy or work of local artists? The best answer is two-in-one. Writing On The Walls: Visual Literacy Through Street Art Culture exhibition is on view in the Jax Makerspace Gallery at the Jacksonville Main Library from Feb. 14 – April 14. The group show features work by regional street artists. In the same gallery displayed a piece by the most famous street artist, Banksy.
The Haight Street Rat measures 7 feet by 7 1/2 feet and was created using red and black spray paint on 107-year-old redwood cedar. The estimated $2 million piece of street art was removed from the side of a San Francisco bed and breakfast by passionate art collector and street art curator, Brian Greif in 2010. Greif invested his own money to have the work removed from the building and conserved to be shown to the public for free in venues across the country. He served as the executive producer on the 2017 film Saving Banksy, which told the story of the Rat. The Jacksonville public library is collaborating with the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville and others to provide educational programming and recommended reading lists relevant to the topic of street art during this exhibition.
Nico: My mural was one that was part of the walls that were set up at the Phoenix Arts district and I titled it “Feel“. I am a super emotional person, often to my disadvantage in terms of my happiness and stress levels. The mural is a commentary on finding beauty in chaos, and in this case, the chaos in my mind which has never-ending thoughts.
The overall feedback I received from the public was that people felt spiritually rejuvenated. They felt a sense of balance, peace & unity.
Culture features photographs of the murals in 15 different places – cities, States and countries conveying the idea of connecting communities through public art. Street art has always been a tool for sharing opinions, asking difficult questions, and expressing political and environmental concerns in a public space. No matter where we are in the city of Jacksonville, the State of Florida or a foreign country, we comprehend and enjoy the masterworks of visual communication. In addition to photographs, the installation includes real objects used while creating a mural. Visitors are welcome to learn more about street art by seeing and integrating other sensory experiences of the visual literacy. Working as an urban art curator, I often document mural production. It is important to take a good picture of the completed artwork, but I feel like process details are underappreciated. We see plenty of street art in the media every day, but not many know how hard and beautiful can be working progress and creative mess around. Thisis something that I want to pay attention of the viewers in my recent work.
Stay tuned for lectures series and other events dedicated to the exhibition: On Exhibit: Haight Street Rat by Banksy.