RVA Street Art Fest

shawn-jones-mural-002I painted a mural today at the RVA Street Art Fest Pre-Party.

The RVA Street Art Festival is defined by three things – supporting arts education for children, discovering and showcasing local artistic talent alongside big national artists, and revitalizing challenged areas that are in dire need of some color and creativity.

This year the festival will return to Richmond in September to revitalize 5.5 acres of walls and buildings on the former GRTC depot on Cary St. with public art, murals sessions, sculpture, and exhibits and ideas about the history and future of transportation in Richmond.

Nationally and internationally acclaimed artists will join with local talent to create murals on the trolley barns, create sculpture using materials on site, and focusing on expanding the conversation about transportation options and potential in Richmond.

The festival will showcase the creative power of street art, liven up the drab walls and attract people to the outdoor art gallery as well as spark a creative discussion about transportation. Spectators will watch large murals and sculptures come to life and color and creativity explode on site all while being able to interact with the artists.

The festival will feature public art and sculpture sessions Wednesday, September 11 through Sunday, September 15, and incorporate painting, sculpture as well as projects in collaboration with the University of Richmond.

A “Paint the Walls” pre-party will take place on Wednesday, August 21 where attendees can tour the site pre-festival, and take part in creating a collaborative mural. The pre-party will also host a contest to find the next generation of up and coming local muralists in RVA. 20 artists will get a chance to create their own 6×6 murals and be juried by the artists invited to the festival in September.

Invited artists include Jeff Soto, El Kamino, Pablo Harymbat, Hamilton Glass, the Few and Far Women crew, Pose, Omens, Vizie, Andrew Schoultz, Hense, Jessie Unterhalter and Katie Truhn, Joshua Mays, Mike Broth, Brad Bacon, Rich Colman, Matt Betts, Chris Milk Hulburt, Heidi Trepanier, Tyler Thomas, Adam Juresko, Camera Obscura, Nikki Leone, Josh van Horne, Marshall Higgins, and more. These artists will work side by side with more than a dozen local artists and muralists to inject color and creativity to the seldom used and static GRTC property.

Local and national sculptors will create pieces from materials found on site (including parts from old buses) as well as showcase sound installations using current GRTC buses. The GRTC site is the original site of the Richmond City Railway Company and served as a transit hub for more than 100 years.

A multimedia exhibition entitled “Keep on Rolling: Stories and Portraits of GRTC Operators” will include photographic portraits of GRTC drivers, text panels based on interviews, and sound portraits. City buses have played a major part at watershed moments in Richmond history, such as the civil rights movement and changes in neighborhoods caused by urban renewal. GRTC operators continue to see and experience a side of life in Richmond that most people do not—but their stories have largely gone untold.

The transportation theme will include a focus on both two and four wheels. Beyond the car, there will be exhibits focused on existing transit options as well as potential solutions such as Bus Rapid Transit and the possibility of creating a regional transit system.

Bicyles will also be prominent during the festival. An urban bike skills obstacle course used to train the Richmond Police will be set up for people to use and will remain on the property in future similar to the trails obstacle course on Belle Isle. Ride Richmond will host Bike Polo matches and there will also be ramps for stunts and tricks. Richmond 2015 will also be on hand to promote the 2015 UCI World Championships and promote their legacy projects underway througout the region that promote cycling.

The festival will include a RVA Street Art Satellite Gallery (on site) featuring works from participating artists, local food trucks from RVA Street Foodies, drink from the Taste the Local campaign, Virginia wine, artists and crafts from the Bizarre Market, arts activities for children, plus artist work sessions and public interaction.

The proceeds from the festival will once again benefit Art 180 which will gather children invovled in their programs around Richmond to create incredible murals during the festival.

Following last year’s successful RVA Street Art Festival, co-organizers Ed Trask and Jon Baliles have teamed up with artist and curator Vaughn Garland, who co-organized the acclaimed Manchester Sculpture Invitational in 2005-06. Together, the trio has worked with GRTC to plan the festival and transform the site until the property is sold or developed, sometime in 2016.

Visit us for updates and artist profiles on the web and social media at http://www.rvastreetart.com