Sunday, May 1, 2011

Street art class!

Street Art! You know, it's all the rage. After Exit Through the Giftshop and all that... oh hey, did you know that Sheperd Fairey was in Austin during SXSW putting up art here and there?... so cool. Anyway....
Here was my class description: "Meet at discreet locations around town for art making and art dispersal. Enliven our public spaces, bring art to the masses, create a moment of connection in the concrete jungle…. Have FUN! (All art will be temporary and environmentally friendly. )"
I didn't know if anyone would be interested enough (or bad-ass enough) to sign up but whaddayaknow.......
A wily band of intrepid art-makers took the bait.

Shown here wheat-pasting some art onto some stairs after being lulled into complacency.... no one really cares, do they, I mean really, what's the harm... and then we turned around right into the appalled face of a security guard.
Luckily we were too fleet-of-foot to be caught... it was pleasantly terrifying!
Austin has this amazing month-long art installation going on right now (actually, it just ended) where Art Alliance of Austin placed pianos throughout the urban landscape for people to find and explore. It's just been such an amazing event that has really excited and delighted the people in Austin, we've all absolutely loved it. It actually says on the website that people are invited to decorate them... and so we thought we just couldn't pass up this opportunity... and then I investigated and found that the only piano that hadn't been fully painted and otherwise arted up was at THE TRAVIS COUNTY JAIL. Kind of Eek! Maybe you'll think I'm letting my true wimp's stripes show but I just didn't know if, even though art alliance allows it, the police that would surely be around there thick as thieves (ha ha) might not buy it... and with the jail so conveniently close by... just toss us straight in. Or something like that.

As it turned out, no one cared a whit and we had the luxury of really settling in and just painting our little hearts out.
It was pretty dark by the time we left so I never got a proper picture of the finished product. I returned later with this little bandit.

Others had added other messages, for instance, "Don't play piano at home, play here!!"
We used lots of feathers and sequins... in the hopes it would brighten up some troubled soul's day.
For our third class we met at this amazing piece of public art, Open Room Austin. It's this beautiful dining table made of pure powder-coated aluminum. "Appearing at once as real and fantastic, familiar and unprecendented; a slice of domesticity in a public park, the installation is intended to dissolve boundaries between fiction and reality and limits between art and life, suggesting a sense of personal ownership to everyone involved with the event." as it says on the website... It really was such a magical place to meet and I couldn't believe we had it all to ourselves.

We did kind of a collaborative mandala and then pieced it all together and slapped it up with wheatpaste under the railroad trestle for all to enjoy.

We got a bit distracted during our last class when we realized that the Railroad Revival Show was playing right close by where we had chosen to meet. We had the amazing good fortune to find a clear view of the show through a chain link fence at 4th and Waller to see Mumford and Sons! Holy glory, that's some good, good, good-time music, right there.
Even with such a distraction as this we didn't falter in our mission to art up the streets. Googly eyes were glued to inanimate objects...
... to really great effect, I'd say.

Farewell, my little Banksys-to-bes! You studied hard and learned well. I will miss you! Go forth, make art, and prosper.

Well, you may not prosper much by giving away your art for free but you will be making art, and that's the important thing.

No comments: