What is the point of a piece that is meant to be temporary? Work that is impermanent reminds us that nothing in life is permanent, that every state is temporary and transitory. Contemplating this concept teaches us to embrace change in our life, instead of working against it. When others notice a piece that is there one day and gone the next it creates a kind of energy/excitement within the community. – Keri Smith
Huge thank you to Brianna Baker, Chrissy Capilano, Dan O’Brien, Zöe Harvey and Warren Nicolson for being part of the latest wheatpaste session at our wall.
The first paste ever on our wall July 17, 2012:
Check out more about Carolyn Spencer
Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherised upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question…
Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”
Let us go and make our visit.
– TS Eliot Excerpt from The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock
Photos of our wall by street art documentarian (instagram) @craige13:
Check out more street art:
As our streetart wall grows, we are building connections with the local community, enjoying audience as we paint, inviting others to join.
We are building dialogue around the “portrait.” We are building relationships and locals are asking to have their photos taken and portraits done as they enjoy the empowerment we all feel when being seen and being heard.
And speaking of community, make sure to check out:
And thank you to Nancy Kirkpatrick for her incredible photos and enthusiasm and my students at Intersections Media!
Portraits, including Rochelle, getting ready!
My students [at Intersections Media– a program I run with my brother, filmmaker Fred Thorsen] and I spent a wonderful morning yesterday with CBC Radio One’s Sheryl MacKay, taping a segment for North by Northwest regarding my art, the work I do and the street art!
In my street art portraits, I draw people I know, people in my social media circle, people who draw me in (pardon the pun), people who inspire me.
I have been inspired by “Rochelle” (my local barista) for quite a while now. She was so gracious to accept my invitation to be photographed for reference shots. The first time I saw her, I knew I needed to draw her!
We did not anticipate the power of the shoot, though. As I explained to Rochelle what the photos are being used for, a dialogue opened up between us- a dialogue that can only be called powerful. The honesty and transparency of the moment moved everyone in the room and I am truly grateful for Rochelle’s fearlessness in allowing us to hear her incredible story of overcoming obstacles and to document her beauty. Her future is indeed bright.
What my streetart portraits are showing me time and again is the power of the portrait itself in opening dialogue and trust. The reaction people have to being drawn is what intrigues me the most.
In Rochelle, I am exploring the emotions that are exuded in the moment of transparency.
Each of us has an inner child of the past living within us. Those who needed to build no walls have access to that child’s creativity and spontaneity. Those who had to leave this crucial core behind can tear down the walls, see what the child needed but didn’t have, and begin to provide it now. The more we do this, the more we know that we are worth it. – Gloria Steinem
The following are samples of photos taken by my brother, Fred Thorsen. Glorious.
I cannot put words down for what was happening to me spiritually, emotionally, or mentally…..one of the most moving moments of my life. – Rochelle
I cannot wait to continue drawing Rochelle.
I will be presenting her portraits as part of an interactive art corner at INSPIRE: An evening of bring body, mind and spirit together at the Vancouver Art Gallery on September 14, 2012. I will start the portraits and attendees will finish them!
See more about our wheatpaste art:
I walked the alley at Main and Cordova today, like I usually do on my lunch break to air out my dog… I was surprised and strangely elated at the changes happening to our original pieces. This part of the process is equally as important as creating the pieces in the first place. Here are just a few examples.
A few additions (the green and the writing):
Nose ring and green in the eyes added:
Green eye star:
Face removed (this is the first wheatpaste):
See more about our wheatpaste art:
We are SO LUCKY to be able to access more of Joe Average’s work on his new site! Check it out! It’s like drinking a cool glass of clear, clean, beautiful water.
Joe Average (born 1957) is a Canadian artist who resides in Vancouver, British Columbia. Diagnosed HIV+ at age 27, Average made the decision to commit the rest of his life to art, and to challenge himself to live by his art.
I finally got to meet with Joe Average on August 3, 2012, and I was so moved! He is one of my biggest inspirations… Meeting your hero is a spiritual experience. To discuss art together… not enough words can explain the delight and elation I felt!
Thank you, Joe, for allowing me to draw you! And for being so generous with your time and inviting me onto you paradise porch!
Also check out:
Thank you Morgan, Justine, Amanda-Lynn, Ernst, Kevin and Anthony at Intersections Media for today’s session and for being my subjects:
Amanda-Lynn added several of her portraits as well!
Graffiti is one of the few tools you have if you have almost nothing. And even if you don’t come up with a picture to cure world poverty you can make someone smile while they’re having a piss.
Jocelyn Louise as Molly, styled by Jay Fisher.
Following is just a small sample of extraordinary photos by Nancy Kirkpatrick:
Do you know what it takes to do [a global art project]? People, energy, glue.
I met up with Elijah yesterday so he could paste the portrait I created of him and his beloved dog, The Baconator! Thank you, Elijah, for an inspiring afternoon!
The city’s the best gallery I could imagine. I would never have to make a book and then present it to a gallery and let them decide if my work was nice enough to show it to people. I would control it directly with the public in the streets.
Street art alters spaces and creates dialogue, and frequently offers subversive critiques on dominant culture.
I discovered the other day that someone had written racial slurs on one of my pieces:
I prepped birds to cover those words, so as to essentially engage in dialogue visually:
Returning to it yesterday, we saw someone had crossed out the graffiti.
Watching the pieces change is intriguing and almost as delightful as seeing them remain unchanged!
Here are a few changes:
Make sure to check out Raziel Reid’s article in Xtra! about the Pride 2012 wheatpaste campaign:
I start with an inspiring person and a photo that really draws me in.
China Marker of course. Guidelines in orange.
Detail in black. Highlights in white acrylic.
I encouraged Justine to cut out the portrait when I finished. She will paste it herself in a few days. It thrills me to watch people paste their own portraits!
See more about our wheatpaste art campaign:
Some other portraits waiting to be pasted:
He is one of my biggest inspirations… Thank you, Joe, for allowing me to draw you! These pieces will be pasted next week.
See more about wheatpaste art:
Walking through our “gallery lane” in the Downtown Eastside, Vancouver, it’s beautiful to see which pieces remain untouched and which are changing.
I haven’t revisited our pieces in the West End yet. I’ll be curious if different neighborhoods have different lifespans.
Some samplings of check-ins:
Prepping new pieces:
Huge thank you to Nancy Kirkpatrick, Maryellen Groundwater, Megan Low and Dustin Whymark for a beautiful day!
Is it GUERILLA ART if you’re openly squealing with laughter?!
I spent a cold but cozy afternoon sharing the joy of art at Main and Cordova. The Grey to Green Art Market is hosted by Intersections Media in partnership with Gallery Gachet, Enterprising Women Making Art program of ATIRA Women’s Resource Society and Oppenheimer Park.
I was so honored to share my table with artist, Maryellen Groundwater.
I did a quick sketch (white china marker on black foam board) of the fabulous Julia Kozlov.
Maryellen, Jocelyn Louise, Julia, Jay Peachy (with Star) and Robert
Photos by Maryellen: