(UPDATED 9/28/18) RECAP: Wide Open Walls took place from August 10 through August 20. Last year, the first Sacramento Mural Festival was a great success. See related post: Sacramento Mural Festival – A Sacramento First!
This year the renamed event returned – bigger and better – as Wide Open Walls. More than 50 artists participated in the event at multiple locations in Sacramento – including Midtown, Downtown, Natomas, Del Paso Heights and Oak Park. The list of artists and mural locations can be found on the Wide Open Walls website.
Wide Open Walls participating artists included artists from: Sacramento, CA; Melbourne, Australia; Auckland, New Zealand; Hong Kong, China; Venice, CA; New York City, NY; Santa Cruz; CA; Naples, Italy; Los Angeles, CA; Voronezh, Russia; Nevada City, CA; Madrid, Spain; Sheffield, United Kingdom; Laguna Beach, CA; and, Berlin, Germany.
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On the last day of Wide Open Walls I decided to spend the early afternoon making one last round of some of the murals located in Downtown and Midtown Sacramento. I have by no means visited each of the mural sites – but I think it likely that I will eventually see most of the murals over time as I go about my daily routine.
There was a significant increase in the number of spectators on the last day of Wide Open Walls. I am guessing that many decided to wait until the last day so they could view the murals once they were completed.
At several mural locations I encountered groups of bicyclists who were taking a “mural tour”. The tour leader shared snippets about the artists and their work and then gave those on the tour an opportunity take pictures and get a closer look.
The murals of Artists Jorit Agoch (Naples, Italy) and Tavar Zawacki (Berlin, Germany) are located at 1123 J Street.
According to his WOW bio, Jorit Agoch started spray painting at the age of thirteen. Jorit is known for his hyper-realistic mural portraits and his aim is to portray his art as close as possible to reality. Jorit has started to mark his portraits with two red lines or scars on the cheek that refer to ancient African rituals, like scarification. This ritual indicates the passing from childhood to adulthood.
The WOW bio of Tavar Zawacki shares that he started painting graffiti in 1996, and that for the past 20 years he was known only as “Above”. His art is said to have evolved and changed since he realized his self-imposed anonymity was isolating him from the rest of the world – and he is now excited about the new journey he is on.
The mural by Lora Zombie (Voronezh, Russia) is located at 1729 R Street (13th and R Streets). According to her WOW bio the self-described “Grunge Artist” works primarily with watercolors, which she characteristically allows to drop down the surface of her work. Many of her paintings feature cartoonish images from pop culture which she contrasts with scathing social commentary.
The murals by Artists Caratoes (Hong Kong) and Adnate (Melbourne, Australia) are both located at 2131 Capitol Avenue.
Caratoes was hard at work on the last day of Wide Open Walls and a small group had gathered to watch her work. According to her WOW bio, Caratoes is originally from Belgium and she currently lives in Hong Kong. Her artistic vision is to bring out the best in a space, indoors or outdoors, and to take the viewer on an unexpected journey. She blends highly detailed elements combined with abstract shapes.
Adnate, according to his WOW bio, creates his portraits in spray paint. He has always held a connection with indigenous people, especially with Indigenous Australians, and he endeavors to capture the stories and emotions of each subject he paints.
The mural by artist Bryan Valenzuela (Sacramento) is located at 2710 R Street. Many Sacramento residents may be familiar with his artwork located at the Golden 1 Center – which was his first major public art commission. See related post: Multitudes Converge – Sacramento Public Art
Bryan was still working on his mural when I stopped by. Bryan has been working over a decade to perfect a unique drawing technique involving the atomization of the figure by carving out shape and light with handwritten text. Once viewed up close, the words intermingled with other mixed media elements can be seen. I highly recommend that you stop by and see Bryan’s mural if you are in the vicinity.
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