Last night at First Fridays, Art 180 introduced the Wheel of Kindness to the world. It was amazing! The wheel is the final product of our amazing Art 180 class. Check out some of the photos from last night. Please support Art 180. It is an amazing program and stay tuned for much more from my sister in crime Patience Salgado AKA Kindness Girl. #WESEEIT
So What is the Wheel of Kindenss? Well, a person spins the wheel and it lands on a color. You then receive the color of the balloon selected. You can either play with the balloon or pop it. When your balloon pops – there is a message or “Kindness task” inside. You then have to complete the task. Awesome right.
Art 180 are my people. Go out and chalk something with Love, Peace and Kindness. This is Our Richmond!
I had a blast at last week’s Art Karma Fundraiser. Some of the coolest people in RVA stopped by to show their support, donate their talent, and bid on auction items. Over the last year, I have been able to participate in a few Art 180 programs and it has been a wonderful experience for me. Please take some time to learn about Art 180 and what the organization does for young people in Richmond.
Say Cheese! A lot like Wu-Tang, Art 180 is for the children.
Ed Trask and family working on some arts and crafts.
What to bid…What to bid?
My friend – the awesome – Erika donating her drink slinging skills to the cause.
Michael and Ward in a rare moment of not running the world!
This table is about to close – so smile!
Mix and mingle folks, it’s for a great cause.
Henry Rollins linked up with Art 180 at the RVA Floodwall
RVA is an artist’s town. In spite of all the noise ordinances, CAPS harassment, and venue crackdowns over the past couple of years/decades, the spirit and culture of live music in particular permeates this town in ways that no other city in Virginia can claim. The ever spectacular Richmond Folk Festival is a perfect example of that. And in reality, it’s been that way since before I moved here many moons ago and is one of the reasons that I call RVA my home in 2012.
One of the first things I delved into when I moved to Richmond to attend VCU in 1991 was the punk and hardcore music scene. As a skate kid from Virginia Beach I had been exposed to some punk stuff in the 80s via my older brother Paul and burned holes in his vinyl copy of the soundtrack to the 1984 movie Repo Man. That compilation served as my early gateway to the sounds of The Circle Jerks, Suicidal Tendencies, and Iggy Pop among others while expanding my known-sound parameters in a different but equally dramatic manner as the Grandmaster Flash and Afrika Bambaataa records I was also listening to at the time.
My freshman year roommate at VCU was a musician from Lynchburg who had played in a variety of different bands in high school and had an amazing collection of punk and hardcore cassettes that I would diligently sift through on a regular basis to discover and consume these new and domestically foreign music styles. Digging through his collection I discovered the sounds of Primus, Gorilla Biscuits, Four Walls Falling (an RVA hardcore band I would later record with), and Corrosion of Conformity amongst a plethora of other less talented and much less inspiring noise bands.
One name that would repeatedly pop up in the cassettes was Henry Rollins. I knew him nominally as the frontman of the monstrously influential 80s band Black Flag that is credited with pioneering certain elements within the hardcore, punk and pre-grunge musical sounds. Honestly, I hadn’t really listened to much of his musical work (I had listened to earlier versions of Black Flag before he was involved) and his “spoken word” performances usually left a lot to be desired to a kid who was raised on Gil Scott-Heron and The Last Poets.
In his post-Black Flag days, Rollins has maintained a successful and active career as a public speaker (I hesitate for a variety of different reasons to truly label what he does as “spoken word”), an activist, actor, and hard-edged social commentator that is as well known for his combustible content as his fiery, in-your-face demeanor. The first musical work of his that really caught my attention was 1992′s The End of Silence from The Rollins Band which was a commercially successful release that landed him a spot on the second Lollapalooza tour which is where I saw him live for the first time. From there, I became familiar with his work in reverse order and his recordings soon earned a solid place in my heart for the music’s inherent socio-political edge and lyrical focus on a full spectrum of human conditions.
Because of my evolved level of respect and admiration for Rollins’s honesty, integrity, and unapologetic opinions, I was more than honored at the privilege of representing Art 180 in a meeting / documentary filming with him this past Sunday, October 21st. He was in RVA for a performance at The National and getting footage for his new documentary called “Capitalism” which follows his path through the 50 state capitals to talk to “the people” about the democratic process, voting, and personal accountability among other things.
Myself and the rest of the Art 180 staff met Rollins and his producer at the floodwall murals as he had an interest in knowing more about what our organization does, and the mural the kids created during this year’s RVA Street Art Festival was an accurate reflection of the constructive voice that many of Art 180′s participants find through art. Three of the teens from the Art 180 Teen Alumni group that completed the mural attended the filming as well and were given an opportunity to meet and talk with Rollins about art, the future, and their take on the current State of the Union. The kids, who previously had no idea who Rollins was outside of his appearance in the movie Jackass, took the time before hand to research him so they could be prepared to engage him with knowledge of who he is and what he represents.
Needless to say, they knocked it out of the park! He was so impressed with the dialogue with the kids that he invited one of them to his speaking event at The National that night as his personal guest. And while I am not surprised at the stellar representation of RVA, Art 180, and themselves that the teens provided, I was a little surprised at Rollins’s even-keeled demeanor and his concentration on objectively listening to what everyone had to say. Definitely a jump from the Henry Rollins I was familiar with through urban legend and book lore. One of the things that I had always heard in my early days of uncovering his works was that he was super-aggressive, condescending and always at war with those around him. And while that is nothing new or particularly unusual for 20-somethings in the punk scene, it was a pleasant surprise that he had transcended that characterization that is still thrust upon him in many of his recent television and movie appearances.
In many ways, Henry Rollins represents an evolution that many people and places go through in an ongoing challenge to define one’s true identity in a world of mass media, stereotypes, and unforgiving pre-judices. A lot of that applies to an evolving RVA as well: while the Capital City has spent many decades trying to re-define itself in the shadow of an ominous and troublesome past, our musical and artistic voice has spoken up in a manner that must be noticed. Credit that to the artisans, musicians, thinkers and everyday people that believe in and support one of the best little music towns on the East Coast. Our art matters and we are putting it up and playing it loud for everyone to experience. Because most of the time, that’s the only way you will ever be heard.
Oh the power of Facebook –I’m so glad this portrait was finally found…according to Art 180′s Facebook status. Art 180: It was in the alley behind Grace St. in the fan. A friend of ART 180 left a message on Facebook letting us know where it was! Thank you!
It is only May 3rd and 2012 has already been one of the best years ever for music, art, and culture in RVA. In my opinion, the main reason has been the: G40 Art Summit and the RVA Street Art Festival. Though both events were organized independently – combined they have already transformed Richmond into a major destination for street art in 2012.
I covered both events intensively on The Cheats Movement Blog and was granted amazing access by the organizers of the festivals: Tony Harris and Shane Pomajambo (G40) and Ed Trask and Jon Baliles (RVA Street Art Festival). I am so proud of these men for what they have done for this city. EVERYONE WINS because of these two great events.
With that said, I believe I’m in a unique position to write some of my thoughts about both festivals. I would love to hear your opinions as well. The first two areas that I will write about in these review post are: Star Power and Location. I plan to write more on different categories as well – in due time.
STAR POWER: No doubt, G40 brought the international star power. ROA is basically the Lil Wayne of Street Art. He is at the top of the game and considered one of the best street artist in the world. You can’t talk murals right now without talking ROA. Aryz is also right there as well – he is a international power house. Both ROA and Aryz completed two walls for G40 before heading out of the country. In addition, the legendary photographer Martha Cooper was in town to check out the G40 murals. Cooper is a legend and gave G40 event more credibility. Angry Woebots, Jaz, Lelo, 2501, Pixel Pancho…and more were all in RVA for G40. There is no way around it, Art Whino and RVA Mag brought major international star power to RVA – it was a great look for the city!
The RVA Street Art Festival brought some MAJOR – MAJOR players as well: POSE is the man – and has earned an amazing reputation in the art world. HENSE, VIZIE, Mark Jenkins and of course, Ed Trask himself are stars in the art community as well. I was very excited to meet Dalek - he was mad cool – but I was slightly disappointed that he wasn’t in town long enough to really get down on the festival wall. The absolute best part of the RVA Street Art Festival was seeing the merging of RVA artist with the national group: Art 180, Hamilton Glass, Chris Milk Hulburt, El Kamino, Mike Broth, Heide Trepanier, and all of the local volunteers gave the Fest a real community feel.
Amazing group photo from the last day of the RVA Street Art Festival. Ed’s arms up in victory – like Ali, he shook up the world!
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION.
Here is the thing – it all depends on what you prefer. G40 is throughout the entire city…let’s be real – Pixel’s amazing mural on 12th and Hull is not close to his first mural on 1 Grace BUT with G40 you can plan 2 or 3 hours, get a map, grab a camera, grab some friends, and have a great time visiting all the murals in the city. Trust me – I’ve done it and it’s a rad day. Being spread out doesn’t really solidify an “Art District” but traveling to visit the murals is a fun experience. G40 will take you from the Fan, to VCU, to Shockoe Bottom…etc.
On the other hand, the RVA Street Art Festival is pretty much all in one spot: The Power Plant – Flood Wall (right by BlackFinn). The visual is stunning, VIZIE’s piece right beside POSE – Jeff Soto’s piece is right beside HAM? – it’s awesome. You can walk the area in about 5 minutes if you want. It’s a fairly small piece of real estate all things considered. What made it work so well is that it allowed for spectators (like me) to post up and watch all of the work being done in one place. I’ve never seen anything like it before in RVA. Along with the food, beer, and music, it was a real festival vibe.
Having the Festival close together allowed for huge crowds and a real festival feel. (photo courtesy of Jeff Soto’s Blog)
Honestly, I really don’t have preference – location is key but there are positives in both festivals. What do you think?
I am very interested to learn how we can keep great events like G40 and the Street Arts Festival in RVA. Are there suggestion that would make these events even better? You tell me.
This concludes part 1 of Everyone Wins.
Yesterday was an amazing day for the RVA Street Art Festival. The weather was amazing and RVA took full advantage. This event is really a “festival” in every way. There are beer trucks, food carts, entertainment, all kinds of stuff going on. Today is the last day – so travel down to the wall by Black Finn and check it out.
Jeff Soto (Cali) and Hense (Atlanta)
Pose (Chicago) signs for a fan and his work.
El Kamino (Richmond) and HAM? (Richmond)
My Art 180 partner Jen and the kids from Art 180 working on their wall.
“As I traveled around the city this week, I noticed crowds of Richmonders viewing, photographing, and discussing the new art on display. I heard those conversations pivot from artist and murals to conversations about music, hobbies, and neighborhoods. I believe that the vibe surrounding the sudden growth of public art in Richmond has some parallels to those early days of hip hop culture in New York City. Of course, these aforementioned art projects aren’t as rebellious, but the early days of hip hop weren’t about breaking the law, they were about expression and finding an identity. It was about creativity and pride in where one comes from.1
I have lived in Richmond all my life. I take great pride in the city and the progress that it has made, particularly in the last 15 years, with the reduction in violent crime and a growing city population. I am truly excited about the renaissance of art and culture that is starting to take place this summer. Richmond has a real opportunity to rebrand itself as a hotspot for art, music, and culture. But the fact remains that Richmond’s history still cast a huge shadow over progressive progress, and forging any type of new identity will be met with old-time opposition.
I believe the latest controversy on Monument Avenue is a strong example of the challenges that face RVA moving forward.”
Visit RVANews.com for the full article.
The show of support of Art 180 was amazing – I will have photos up on this post in a few — check back and share.
RICHMOND STANDS WITH ART 180
Again, thanks to Fan of the Fan and Art 180 for keep us all informed on this disappointing situation. I am beside myself in the way this was handled – the city looks horrible and stumbled all weekend. I understand that the law is the law – but I hope a letter of apology is issued and the city works with Art 180 to proudly display this project somewhere great in the city. They owe that to the children and all the people that went through the permit process.
If you can, please join Art 180 at the art walk residents have organized to demonstrate the community’s support for the work of our young people, our artists, and their creative self-expression. It’s tomorrow night (Tuesday) at 7pm, starting at the Lee Monument (Allen). http://www.facebook.com/events/145771925548701/
Here is the letter sent by Richmond Chief Administrative Officer Byron Marshall:
“The city of Richmond supports the arts community and continues to have a good working relationship with Art 180. We recognize the honorable work being done through Art 180 to serve children in the city of Richmond and acknowledge that this work is important to the social fabric of our communities.
“It is unfortunate that an erroneous permit was issued for the display in question. I’ve met with city attorneys today as well as agency officials to review this matter. It is clear that a mistake was made and it is now incumbent upon us to uphold the law.
“The Work in Streets Permit (WISP) was issued in violation of Richmond Code Section 38-113, which details unlawful signage in City medians. A review of the ordinances by which the city issues permits is underway to ensure that city employees have a clear understanding of the parameters involving the city/s right of way management.
“The city will work with Art 180 to assist with potentially putting the display on exhibit in a city park for an extended period.”
It’s awesome to see people enjoying the Art 180 Project on Monument Ave today. I hope the city makes the right decision and allows the project to stay as long as the original permit. Here are some quick photos from my walk late this evening. I ran across a real cool bocce ball game – Alex and his buddies said it’s a new Sunday tradition. They also said the Art Project is really something different on Monument and hopes it stays. Me too Alex.
I’m very saddened by the recent story that I read on Fan of the Fan: Art 180 ordered to remove portraits from Monument Avenue. With all the excitement regarding the art projects happening right now in the city, I believe this is a disappointing step backward. This is my first year working with Art 180 and I can tell you first-hand that the program is amazing and the What Do You Stand For art project should be on full display on Monument Ave.
Here is the email from Marlene Paul, co-founder and executive director of Art 180
Despite the enormous outpouring of positive comments we’ve heard about our Monument Avenue exhibition–and the great photo on the front page of yesterday’s Times-Dispatch, we have been ordered to remove them by Friday.
This is a shock and disappointment, given that we have been working since last summer to follow protocol and seek the necessary approval, and we have a permit from the City’s Department of Public Works for them to remain on Monument until May 4.
Some of our fellow citizens feel that we should never have been granted permission to display the portraits on The Grand Avenue, and this is a case of people w/ money and influence vetoing City authority–where is the fairness in that? I spoke directly with one of these unhappy Monument residents, who had already contacted the Mayor’s office and won over Councilman Charles Samuels (who is, conveniently, up for reelection in a hotly-contested race). This one resident is apparently not alone, as there have been other complaints to City Hall. I don’t know how many, and I am struggling to understand why their voices can cause the revocation of a legally obtained permit. I am equal parts outraged, brokenhearted, exasperated, and proud that the portraits are on Monument right now, regardless of how long they stay.