My grandmother always says, “If they are talking about you – you must be doing something right.” Well grandma, in the new issue of Greater Richmond Grid, they’re not just talking about The Cheats Movement Blog - they are talking about the Family…deep. Before I go any further I need to fill you in a little bit about what’s been happening this year and how I’ve been processing everything. I hope you’ve been following on the blog and on Facebook but in case you haven’t, this year has been amazing so far: new job, bigger shows, new projects, and I’m getting married in October. It’s definitely been a new level of stress. All of this was happening before Greater Richmond GRID, TEDxRVA, and the Meaning of Community Project.
Then everything centering around RVA and Community just started taking off. Greater Richmond Grid and TEDxRVA played a major role in bringing this discussion to the forefront. Basically overnight everything went into overdrive regarding RVA’s community and I found myself and virtually the entire family right in the middle of it. There were weeks – after working full days - I would then attend a dinner, meeting, or gathering every night – go home, kiss the fiancee, and then sit at the computer for hours working on editing or posting. It is not an ideal plan for work, blogging, or life.
My saving grace has been my family – both my blood family & my Cheats Movement Family. The fact that I know I’m not riding alone gives me energy – too much energy and motivation to keep everything going. And then there are days like yesterday. While at TEDxRVA, a wonderful lady, that I met once while doing a community project with my boss at Trinity Baptist Church, walked up to me and gave me a Greater Richmond Grid and said, “I’m so proud of you.” I open the magazine and not only did I see The Cheats Movement, I saw Brother Manifest, Hamilton Glass, and Tony Harris. I feel like a brother to those dudes (a little brother – they’ve been putting in work for years)…we are always working together – bouncing ideas -and trying to move this city forward. The fact that Greater Richmond Grid put us in their issue about “Makers” motivates me to no end. S/O Paul Spicer for putting this level of detail about Community in your magazine – you didn’t have to.
I would be lying to you if I didn’t mention that I’m still trying to process the growth of the blog. And I’m tying to “process” it while the blog is growing – and I’m encouraging it go grow. That sounds crazy right? I’m “processing” the blog’s current growth – while hoping that you will share it to everyone you know and it continues to grow bigger….I know right. Here is the thing - I know The Cheats Movement Family has what it takes to play a part in positive change in RVA. None of us are going to sit it out. None of us are gong to miss out on the energy that buzzing around the city right now. We are moving forward. Go get that Greater Richmond Grid and see what we see it! #WESEEIT
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.
Art Whino’s third edition of G40 is kicking off right now in RVA. Renowned international artist, Gaia, is here on W. Grace killing one of his signature murals. My brothers at RVAMag is the driving force behind the G40 project coming to RVA. CLICK HERE to see the G40 website. This year’s focus is, “The Art of the Mural.” Some of the most known mural artist from around the world will be in town: El Mac, Roa, and Aryz to name a few. I’ve also been told that some local Richmonder’s will be doing their thing as well and I am very excited to see that. Check out everything about this amazing art project at RVAMag and Art Whino’s websites. Like Gaia on Facebook – he is mad cool.
Check this out – I caught up with the man behind RVA Mag and RVA Music Fest Tony Harris at the end of night 1. It was about 2:00 AM and he was wrapping up a great night and moving into day 2. Check out his perspective on RVA Hip-Hop and why RVA Music Fest is important. Cheats Movement X RVA Mag at it finest. S/O to everyone standing up for the River City. WE R-VA.