The Repurpose Project

Besides graffiti not many murals can be seen on The 34th St Wall. It is understandable why: paint and other supplies are expensive, creating a mural requires much more time than classical graffiti work and nothing remains there for a long time… However, The GNV Urban Art initiated a so-called ‘Repurpose Project’: we asked one good store to donate us some paint, we invited one good artist to create a mural and we turned something old and abandoned (the old paint) in a new beautiful artwork for people to enjoy!

The majority of the paint cans could basically be considered antiques, most of them being covered in rust and filth, some of their color had changed and some cans couldn’t even be opened; so needless to say no one would have bought it. After some digging, we managed to find quite a bit of usable paint, I did have to purchase some new paint as well, but I am very grateful to The Repurpose Project for donating a large amount of paint, it went a long way and allowed me to do such a large, detailed mural. I’ve named the piece, “Revive,” because as you can see the girl is bringing herself back to life by painting a new face over her skull; and I guess you could say we revived this paint by turning it into new artwork, However, even though this was my concept for the mural, the meaning is completely open to interpretation. – Rachel Sommer, the artist.

The Repurpose Project is a weird 3000 sq. ft. thrift store that salvages items usually not accepted by traditional second hand stores, like broken chairs, e-waste/wire, single crayons, office and craft supplies, many other things… and paint. The mission of the store is to capture these overlooked treasures before they end up in the landfill and make them available to the public.

Buy USED! It’s good for the planet! Why buy new stuff when there is so much perfectly good USED stuff in our own communities! When you buy something used, you eliminate all that goes into producing a new product. – Sarah Goff, Co-Founder of The Repurpose Project

Another unique aspect of The Repurpose Project is the pricing structure.  Some items are priced while others are not. It is a non-profit community based effort to divert useful resources from the landfill, redirect these items to the public for art and education, inspire creativity, and help us all rethink what we throw away.

I wanted the design to be bold and eye catching and something that has not been done on this wall before. By doing an elaborate piece, I wanted to bring attention to the shop and also to encourage other local artists to use the wall for creative pieces. It has already received a lot of attention from people walking by and people driving on 34th street, everyone seems to really appreciate the detail and time it took to complete. I hope it will encourage emerging and established artists to use the space more frequently and for more creative artwork. Gainesville is fortunate to have a wall like this, it’s massive, and as I learned in my week of painting this piece, people actually come in from major cities just to see the wall and to paint on it. Also, it’s especially great for young artists to have a space to practice where they don’t have to worry about getting into trouble. – Rachel Sommer, the artist.

GNV Urban Art is looking for sponsors of paint in order to produce more beautiful artworks and graffiti projects like the Revive and Marvel Production. Support our local artists!!


Read an interview with the artist and see the video of the project here.

One thought on “The Repurpose Project

  1. Melbourne-man

    I’m so glad that this project decided to select Rachel Sommer to be the lead artist for this project. She is well known artist here in Australia and is in high demand. I’m years to come it can be seen that people will look back at this peice and know that it was a genuine RBS creation. Her talents grow with each peice she decides to grace with her time. Please do follow her next work as it is sure to be game changing.

    Well done to The Repurpose Project.

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