(Well, in + to the piece x @Momoshowpalace going up at The Ogden Museum!)

On my way to work (I am the E.D. of NOLA Art Walk with focus as a public/street art specialist), I saw the scissor lift from a distance and felt my heart skip a beat (I hope that never goes away!)

Pictured here is Joshua (Josh) Wingerter, the primary artist behind the new DREAM piece hugging the train tracks in the Bywater. The boy in the mural is his son, and Josh makes a painting of him every year, using this year’s portrait project as the basis for this mural. And how ideally situated, by the train, a young boy playing with it, inducing nostalgia and a childlike playfulness!


You’d be thrilled to know that Josh is from NOLA and has been a painter here for twelve years, so he’s here to stay and paints scenes that speak to the community here! Even more thrilling is that I learned he just got into murals recently! Believe it or not (I’m still in shock) this is his first public, large-scale painting in the open!

As you can imagine, pieces this big take time and help–so his friend Paco is an artist in from D.C. who came to help with the mural. Paco is also a painter and will be part of the team moving forward. Also, Sloth, who is also a local artist, is helping Josh as well. Sloth and Josh giggled when I walked by to talk to them and stopped to chat--“We’re just two boys from the West Bank!” Josh’s son will see the mural on Wednesday, and his dad plans to give up a brush and let him make a mark in one of the bubbled on the right-hand side.


Now you’re wondering, how did he get that wall–Well, he got it himself! If you’ve ever organized a mural, the actual painting of it is a small slice of the work-pie. With this mural, just the process of getting the wall secured took 8 months–including coordinating the perfect design and negotiating the artist fee. Josh volunteered for the VA and painted a small, interior piece and later at dinner met the owner of the building on St. Claude, who asked him about doing his wall. The new place is a tech incubator, but the owner had an idea to pay homage to the history of the location.


The site of this new piece was an old bounce club, a place that hosted some of the local legends of the scene, so when the artist started to work with the owners to come up with designs, of course, Big Freedia sucking on a lollipop was on the table. Josh was asked to do three designs, and so he also thought maybe to paint Tank and the Bangas, whatever he painted, he was determined to keep it local and relevant to long-time residents like himself. With that, he slipped in the idea of painting his son, and the owner’s eyes lit up. It was an unexpected decision to choose that design but probably the best choice! The neighborhood is responding very well to it–even in the twenty minutes I chatted with Josh, people were pulling over to look closer, smiling, and taking pictures.


If you want to see more of his work, he’s beginning a mural in Chalmette in a week.

Thanks for reading,

P.S. Cool to learn that our good friend, patron and author of The Creative Soul: How to Empower Yourself to Think Outside of the Box and Dare to Create Chris Pemberton knows Josh–they did a show together!

Learn the incredible true story behind Zeb, a visiting Chi-Town artist who just put a new piece up on the abandoned Drop-In Center building!

Happy Friday! I am excited to launch your weekend on a positive note and share an update:

First and most important, I have officially completed all classwork for my degree and written/defended my graduate report. I listed each of my campaign donors in the front cover thank you page, so you got an official shout out! Now to follow— a Master’s Degree in Arts Administration and a long career in the arts! Now, I am experiencing a very special time as I transition into ‘what’s next’ A time that I want to share with you—-feelings of excitement, unbounded passion and a richened curiosity for the world! Here’s what I have been up to for the past three months since I last wrote and ‘what’s next’:

In February I was offered a full-time, summer position with the organization you helped me intern with last summer. I accepted and immediately began to do paperwork to be able to legally work overseas. I am moving back to Galway in about two weeks to live and work on Ireland’s West Coast. I am thrilled to join the team again this summer in a professional position and return with organizational memory, experience and a whole-lot-of energy!

More recently, I curated a street art installation with Mardi Grad Indian Jay McKay. The show aimed to not only exhibit new paintings by McKay, but to celebrate the culture of growing up in the ghettos of NOLA in the 90s. McKay and I came together over two-weeks of hard work to install his new pieces to present a three-dimensional, immersive street art experience for a diverse crowd. A few pictures here:


I have also partnered with MuralFest in Canada, which is taking place the 2nd week of June, to help book the talent this year. This is a big step for me in the world of street art curation and management. In a similar vain, I have reinvigorated my work as admin. asst. to Bruce Greig and Damien Mitchell, who recently finished a Dia de los Muertos-graffiti mural in NY. I have been helping them apply to RFPs to paint large-scale mural projects around the United States. I am so happy to be back working with these two, they are exceptional hyper-real painters, google them if you are not familiar with their work!

Just last week, I met with JS Makkos, who owns a print press and local publishing business in New Orleans, who has agreed to produce a large-format hard-cover book on street art. I am managing the project for Jeremy Novy, dubbed the ‘queer Bansky’. The book will include approximately 140 pieces done by 40 queer street artists around the world.

Over the next couple of years I want to build my art consultancy practice, to take on bigger and bigger public art projects and to make a name in the field. To be so well known in this line of work that when a Mayor’s office endeavors to start a mural program or a mural programming NPO wants to expand its reach or a street artist needs legal walls my phone rings :) Maybe start a business of my own? You will see!

I post as much as I can about my journey on facebook and instagram, feel free to follow:

Thank you again for your contribution and continued support!

With care,

Happy New Year!

What an exciting time to share a final report on our internship project in Ireland. I say ‘our’ because it would not have been possible to live and work in Europe for three months without YOU. I will say it over and over again: thank you for your thoughtful donation, it truly means the whole world to me. This great video (Carly & I partnered up with a filmmaker from Ithaca to document the department) sums it all up: https://www.facebook.com/GalwayInternationalArtsFest/videos/10159083362910082/

Last I wrote, I was working on the Aran Islands with Artistic Director, Paul Fahy. As a quick recap: mid-May to mid-August, I volunteered 580 hours (100hrs over the required 480). My primary responsibility as the Volunteer Coordinator was to co-manage the Volunteer Department. In addition to my responsibilities recruiting, training and engaging a volunteer force of 600, I was lucky enough to take on additional special projects. CEO, John Crumlish asked me to collect data for reports and grants he worked on. I spent some weekends collecting statistics on smart cities and cultural hubs in Europe to contribute ideas on how to strategically grow Galway as the place for creative entrepreneurs to thrive. I also got to manage street theatre projects, that was the real “life changing experience”. The festival saw some of the highest numbers in the box office and sold out shows as well as a record breaking year for the volunteer department. After my farewell lunch the CEO handed me a Seamus Heaney book and said it was my official offer letter to come back. On that note, John and I will be on the phone next week to talk about a position on the team this year.

SO----I landed home in August to a rather challenging personal situation, which forced me to move. The silver lining is given time and space constraints I had to purge over a decades worth of hoarding trinkets and things that “I can make art out of”. Everything went to the curb except for a bookshelf, some clothes, photo albums, books, and my baking supplies (albeit moving into an efficiency apartment that has no stove). I felt re-born. I found a small efficiency, which works great for me because I am up and out early to bike to the lake to school and home late. I call it my NOLA tree house because it has floor to ceiling windows spanning the entire length of the place and is surrounded by 2-story-tall bamboo shoots.

During that time, I started a full-time load of classes and both part time jobs that I had worked previously. I work in the Music Dept. at the University and as an Art Consultant at a beautiful gallery on Royal Street in the Arts District. This past semester, I took Writing & Presentation for Arts Administrators, Public Art Policy, Theatre Management and a class focused directly on field work. This lead me to really cool projects including: working with the Arts Council and the Mayor’s Office to reform the mural permitting process which currently has the highest fee in the nation. I proposed to eliminate or reduce the $500 fee to remove the barrier to access for visual artists. More vibrant murals in NOLA means vibrant streets that feel safe, are more walkable and thus happier residents. I also wrote a ten pager on the nitty gritty details behind the life of a wall on St. Claude where the Harriet Tubman $20 mural currently lives. I interviewed all of the artists involved in the graffiti war.

Also, I was part of a small team that put on two of what I see as the most important visual art events of my professional life this past year, the retrospective of Raymond Douillet and the solo show of Steven Kenny. Both are neo-surrealist oil masters that have private and public collectors around the globe. It was an honour to curate their work and spend time with them, learning the behind-the-scenes-mind. They both embody the perfect combination of imagination and hyper-photo-real technique.

I also worked on a Prospect 4 site, a huge international arts show that takes place in NOLA every two years. This year I worked on the Goddess Project, a multi-media outdoor installation to honour the politics of femininity and the beauty of the swamp. Check out our process: https://www.revisitingthegoddess.com/making-of-the-goddess-project/

Lastly, as many of you know, I am now writing poetry almost every day. This new and profound love has lead me to discover the work of E.E. Cummings, Ted Hughes (Plath’s plague), Paula Meehan, Wallace Stevens and Lorca. I was also heavily influenced by the time spent in Ireland. There is a certain creativity in the air there, a magicalness that rebooted my enchantment of the world----something so beautiful about being surrounded by theatre, film, literature and a celebration of ideas! I have posted all 150 or so poems on my site at https://artinpublic.carbonmade.com/projects/6500736. Since returning home to New Orlean, I was invited to read my work (twice now) at the DogFish Literature Society, a nerve wracking first for me but now a monthly-must. With that, I have been working on compiling my top 30 or so works into an illustrated book. Details will unfold as I learn more about self-publishing.

The big realization is—after spending 23 years in a small up-state NY town with little to no access to the arts, today I find it the ultimate privilege to be enrolled at the university, reading, writing, indulging in poetry, art, theatre, film and organizing gallery exhibitions, helping with policy and public art projects and, my true love, documenting street art.
My heart still beats the fastest when I am directly working with street artists. I recently teamed up with world-renowned street artists Damien Mitchell, Nicole Salgar and Chuck Berrett to apply for a HUGE project in North Carolina to paint one of those big water tanks. During the past four months, I discovered that I want to be one of the writers, the person that documents the contemporary art movement of our time----street art. When I was in Ireland, I spent weekends interviewing and documenting the work of any Irish street artist I could get ahold of. Here is a blog I wrote on legendary Galway street artist: Finbar https://artinpublic.carbonmade.com/blog/6425591642585038861 and a collection of street art photos from around Ireland: https://artinpublic.carbonmade.com/projects/6499841#2

Starting next week, I embark on my very last semester of graduate school. I have weekly seminar meetings and plan to defend my thesis in April. I started my paper a couple of weeks ago and have dubbed “Thesis Thursdays” a whole day of sitting at a local cafe to work on what will end up being a 100 page document. Upon graduation, I am planning to live and work in New Orleans and take summers to work on exciting art projects that will feed my soul.

Although this is the final report on our HatchFund project, I continue to share my daily journey through grad school, life as an arts professional and poetess, please join me:
IG: @KadyYellow
Or www.artinpublic.carbonmade.com

Thank you for reading this far and again for your help, from the very bottom of my heart!

With all the love and care in the world,
Kathryn (Kady)

New Street Art in & around St. Claude & Frenchmen St. According to muralist Henry Lipkis, “I’ve been at a loss for words over the resurgence of white supremacy in America. When we painted this back a few weeks with Devin Reynolds and Langston Allston it was done in the spirit of #blacklivesmatter and #takeemdownnola Lionize the real heroes of our past and the true believers in freedom. Our history of slavery has left a stain on this country that is pervasive through every level of our society. It is rearing its head. We have no option but to resist and take em down.”

Work by Lipkis is always well planned, thoughtful, considerate of space and place, neighborhood & history and executed with creative, imaginative soul. I am excited to see what he has to offer this hungry little city next! Next for me now that I am settled(ish) & have been home for 7 days. Back to the NOLA grind this year’s line up:

  1. Finish Policy Project with Arts Council of New Orleans to help make painting the streets easier
  2. Continue to meet with & pick the minds and hearts of street artists & work with Quality of Life commission to find a legal wall/park/space in NOLA modeled after HOPE Outdoor Gallery or @Jardins de les 3 Xemeneies in Barcelona
  3. Work with Flint Public Art Project to host a Public Art Panel in New Orleans featuring ED Joseph Schipani & others who are dedicating their lives to serve as the business mind and organizers of meaningful public art http://flintpublicartproject.com/about-fpap/
  4. Super Secret project to work as the professional writer for a street art collection to travel the globe, with the aim to soft-launch for 2017 Art Basel Miami and hard-launched for 2018, more details to unfold as the project’s Director releases them ><

The 3rd week of August I wondered throughout the streets of Barcelona to hunt down street art & get a taste of the scene. Of course, I ended up in the famous Jardins de les 3 Xemeneies – Barcelona’s Graffiti Park & winding in and out of the alleys in the Gothic Quarter. There is work

From Shoreditch in London I made my way to the Netherlands (on my way to document street art in Barcelona). I specifically traveled to Amsterdam to try and sort through the first official museum exhibition of Banksy’s work at MOCO. I interacted in weird ways, watched everything, looked at every square inch, talked to museum staff and went through the show a few times with and without an audio guide. Funny, you actually exited through the gift shop. Still sorting through the deal with this, as something still seems unsettling about the whole thing, more to follow.

The 2nd week of August I slowly made my way by boat and train to London from Galway, Ireland. Of course, I took time in London’s famous Shoreditch neighborhood to hunt street art and visit the Bansky Tunnel where I happened on Shepard Fairey & Invader among a very colourful landscape of both 2D & 3D street art with a strong interactive component, plastered walls of wheat paste and politics. Here is just a small sample of pictures from that time.

A few small blocks of Brazil just to give you perspective on how colourful the streets are and a small peek into how women are depicted & formed from paint by urban creators. Special Thank you to the Flâneurs of the globe who aren’t scared to dive into correspondence b/c I couldn’t share the vibrant potentials of the world without you xx

One stop in Limerick to cover the streets. An exemplary hot bed for community engagement and citizen driven solutions, from passion to action in claiming the streets. A shared urban centre where artists worked closely with city hall to institute a legal-walls outdoor gallery in advocacy of freedom of expression and to teach lessons in access and inclusion. In 2012 the city designated its very own ‘graffiti’ street. Take a look at the range of 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional works. Special thank you to independent Flâneur, Carly Zimmerman, who is sweet enough to think of me & share.

Take a wild walk through the streets of Cork, Ireland. Cork has a population of 125,622 and was founded during Viking invasions around 915. This next dose comes by way of a correspondent that fell for this magical place after a coastal slide along the Wild Atlantic Way. After landing on four feet we were faced with the treat to sleep or join in discrete leaks of jelly jam & pink beets as we wondered the streets in search of art that demands to be seen. A special thank you to the photojournalist and nascent pod-caster for these colourful pictures of the vibrancy and life. More info on the scene at https://twitter.com/KadyYellow or facebook.com/kadyyellow

In honour of addressing the fact that I am love-sick for New Orleans, missing home, a feel bound to challenge my Ireland bliss. I miss the vibrancy, the wildness of the urban wilderness, the soul, the beat, the heat thunder storms and so much more. I share a small update on street art as delivered to my phone by multiple people.

This spot (as pictured above) is oozing with politics. Shedding notions of integrity, territory, place, identity and street art culture. The dos and don’t of which there are not many of. The interactive nature of a wall that lives and breathes is key. I won’t memorialize too much here because it is important that you follow the artists, the life of the wall and make an idea of what’s going on for yourself.

So much to say, so much being said. This is on St. Claude Ave in NOLA. Cheers to you Henry, you are a spark that lights fires of change and catalyzes a scene via a perfect dance of respect and dignity.

6.5 Hours Flirting With A Belfast Boy
5 Days Living in Dublin2
Listening to Blasphemous Rumours by Depeche Mode

Getting lost is Dublin in the cold, pouring rain has a little more than just a silver lining. The magic is in the feeling of winding your way through the physical world to discover a wild batch of flowers or curated lawns of Merrion Square. Trying not to fall in love with the artist, but with the whole picture, I present to you a slice of the pie of Northern Ireland’s street art scene as found in Belfast.

We landed at the train station at the top of the afternoon and by half twelve we were situated in a black taxi on our way to see Belfast’s world-renowned murals. The driver, Mr. Duffy Jr. He dove right into segregation and shared a fair warning that the most important murals are inside of homes, behind walls.

We started in Santo Station, which is not in Santo but that provides a symbolic framework for the journey we were about to embark on. A city where 80% of people live in segregation by way of housing and school. The driver went on to hone in on the real problem, a lack of national identity being under British rule, which he shared as we drove past the High Courts where they still wear “funny wigs” near St. George’s Market. We drove past the Assembly building or head of the Protestant church across from the oldest school that is remarkable in that it is non-denominational with “change for good–vote the alliance” signs in the same neighborhood driving to West Belfast, which is 95% Catholic and iconic for its terrace housing. Then into Shankkill which is the ‘original Belfast’ and home to an old prison.

The drive lasted about two hours and included details on the subject, artist, site and history of each mural we visited. Ultimately, to sum up the dichotomy of the scene after such a short experience, there are murals and then there is graffiti/street art, which later we will tease through as defined by the famous Glen Malloy. The murals are the political landscape and backdrop to Belfast’s religious communities, communities that are identified and kept separate by flags, lights, housing, art, gates and walls.

Peace walls surround the whole of town and albeit citizen demand to keep them for peace of mind, the government is initiating a process to remove the barriers as a symbol and transition into conflict resolution. Within the same notion, Graf writers have been invited to freely adorn the Protestant side. It is the oldest and tallest wall. Today the wall is the tallest height, to protect from projectile objects that are launched from one side to the other. It is a legal wall**

*Site specific art responds to the particular history or presence of a site. For example, the Oscar Wilde Statue in Merrion Square responds to the fact that he frequented that place to write or XX installing a poorly made dog pissing next to the Wall Street bull by Alex Gardega.

**A legal wall is a designated area known to the street painting culture where people can freely go and jam without permits or any problems related to prosecution or otherwise

The Protestant side was being painted while we stood there photographing and tagging it: “the sky is not the limit, limitless is” is all I could muster up to write. A car sat parked with Southern Ireland tags, which 20 years ago you just would not see. You will know that the murals make clear statements and are fully curated and celebrate history, politics and change often with the political climate, all of which are site specific*. I have yet to observe plaques alongside mural sides memorializing the predecessor of the site; preserving history as it is depicted in painterly monumental erections.

The First mural we saw is a Protestant mural labeled as 1690 for the Battle of Boyne on the 12th of July. The orange order or orange men fought under the leadership of King Billy (William III). Today results in a big parade on that same day to commemorate the history of the battle. Belfast was conquered by the UK (Queen Elizabeth) a mere 400 years ago. Secondly, we saw the guns follow you like the eyes of the Mona Lisa as told by Mr. Duffy. It is especially imposing if you are a stranger, not a tourist, but a new neighborhood resident, which is seen as part of the problem.

Around the corner were other murals that spoke to the future of hope. Lesley Cherry’s work is all around you and the first piece is a quilt of all the words of hope, a means of using the power of language to change the dialogue of violence and really to highlight the role of women as champions of care and support and thus of hope. In the same vicinity is a photo-mural of all the youth of Belfast standing for dreaming (a better life).

In a place where the police stations are fortified (compared to small towns near Connemara and the Killer mountains have stations open for two hours on a Tuesday morning and Thursday afternoon) the juxtaposition is intense and fortifying in many ways. I learned quickly that wall real estate is serious. There is a wall that is blank, reserved for the Republican Party, and you can bet it is not going to be touched until then.

The second half of the day left me urban exploring with Glen Molloy, who BBC dubs as “Belfast’s Bansky” and a man that is going to be quite hard to sum up or really even describe. We headed to the Cathedral Quarter’s Hill Street to meet at the Duke of York (DOY) Sunday June 4th at 4:30PM. A man who as we have learned in other posts has also changed his graffiti identity often, or at least enough to avoid trouble. VAN to Poison Pen pal, Glen Malloy is going to be a tough case to crack. He is an act of rebellion and quickly recognizes the impact of street art for substance, a man looking for real meaning and a way to use the power of the paint.

We started the tour at his piece that depicts famous locals that frequent the DOY as well as paying homage to Fat Boy Slim who came to DJ in the club before a big gig. Glen is a man that only started his journey in coloring in the streets about 2.5 years ago after 45 years of struggling with art and the expression thereof. He is available and ready to shower the streets of Belfast. We walked around for almost 2 hours looking at art by VisualWaste, SmugOne, MTO, Connor Harrington and KZR. He depicted the city via street art tweezing apart the words graffiti and street art as well as “space fillers” or pieces that have little to no meaning, that maybe look pretty and of course are way better then a blank wall.

We stood in front of his portraiture work that has a distinct yellow line that contours and adds contrast to the work. He pulls out his digital portfolio on his phone and points out the distinct red line. His work celebrates people, not politics. “There is too much politics in the walls now, I am not going to add to it” I painted George Michael after he died because he was such a profound influence on me in terms of music. Glen use to DJ for many years and as now knee deep in the art scene. He gained some unwarranted attention on the mural given his religious affiliation as it was seen on a surface level as maybe a potential statement on queer culture, but it was not at all the case.

When it comes to religion, “I believe there is one god. Not that god or this god but notions of compassion, healing and being more worried about himself not going to hell”. He goes on to describe the nuances of the two words. Street art is the kids that went to art school. They come out being able to paint like that. He goes on to share how visualwaste got a way on. “So many commissions Bansky was not taking so VW stepped up and took them”

We walked through an area that 10 years ago was known as Murder alley, a modern vision of Willy, the local developer that turned the now hip area into a Mecca for street art, booze and dancing. We turned the corner and saw worth by Madrid train Bonner turned street artist @sabeknonsense Graf involves a distinct culture, no formalities, no schooling, no resources. Rarely does Glen use the words public art unless he is trying to sound sophisticated. He feels that the Graf kids started to change walls to be seen as canvases that then evolved into street art. Graf is not stencils, that is street art. It’s the difference between legal and otherwise not walls.

We stopped at MTOs work, a dig at unity with a slight depiction of agnostics. The flags in the birds represent the two sects of religion. He walked us around to to the subway where Graf started in the mid 80s. He said he felt like a father to those walls. We chit chatted a bit more before darting off to catch the train home and some of his last words were laughing that he sometime forgets to paint eyebrows.

A year later I can finally memorialize the lustrous William Kozloff. I’ve shook hands, kissed cheeks or tapped elbows with hundreds of street artists and rarely does a painter-of-the-public stick out in the streets like him. The bar has been raised. I had the valuable chance to personally collaborate with him & after that experience dub him the most dedicated & hard-working graf-teacher in the Pacific Northwest. Better known as Just 0 or just-oh, he’s a father, Alaskan native, public artist, graf culture champion and educator with the astrological sign of cancer born on the 21st of June in the mid 80s.

Last summer I partnered with Mayor Berkowitz, Cook Inlet Housing and ArtPlace America. I designed and taught street art technique workshops out of the Church of Love in Spenard and The Anchorage Co-Op, a graffiti studio in the center of the city that was lead by Just 0. He made the class dynamic and brought in knowledge that he shared on the language and culture in the graf world. If you ask him he’d say, ‘’You taught a class in Anchorage! Otherwise we hung out and talked shop.‘’

Since working with him, his career has taken off and so it’s been practically impossible to get a minute of his mind. A couple of weeks ago he gave me the green flag and so today I present to you the start of my journey to peeling back the layers of his mind and time. Here is just a small bit into the man behind the words. If you asked him to describe me back he says, ‘’ You tend to pin point something that catches your eye (even if it isn’t boisterous or apparent) which to me means you’re a character for diamonds in the rough.’’

To warm up the interview & given that I am in Ireland and he is in Alaska we decided to just put it to ya in black & white:

How do you like your coffee? Black, I’m a village kid at heart so I have no need for fancier coffees
What kind of artist are you? My favorite artist.

What got you into art? Who supported you most?

Idle hands, making paintings of pretty women. My family is pretty supportive, my mother especially so
Who is your muse? What inspires you? Usually whichever model I work with, it changes the tone of my work.

Love inspires me, death inspires me, the mundane especially. That’s all I want to make work about.

What’s your connection or story with public art? I have a graffiti background so I just like painting and getting up. Legal stuff just kind of happened and then that one thing leads to another kind of way.

What’s your artist statement? I tell people that I am the collection of other people’s efforts and affections. After that I perform various forms of creative shrugging.

What’s your story, what makes your tick? What makes you unique? What makes you, well, you?
I’m not the born an artist guy per-se. My favorite things were labor jobs where I pick something up and put it down somewhere else. I want to show beauty in the normal/mundane, I don’t have anything artsy to say through my work otherwise.

What else do you do to get creative? People make me creative, especially non-artist types.

Fun fact(s) about you? I’m an obsessive researcher on topics that barely interest me.

What’s your dream? I just wanna make stuff

What is your website and/or social media? Instagram.com/lodust
Best way to contact you? Instagram or messenger https://www.facebook.com/SnowmanLo

That’s what we have for now until more time frees up & we can learn about his future projects. I will say again, because I can’t say it enough, this is a man to watch for, invite to your next event, book a show with, collaborate and follow. Take. Note.

He’s hard to describe so let’s dig right in. Finbar247, Finbar McHugh or if you are very lucky St. Finbar.

To get my old favorite question out of the way, he will drink coffee and isn’t fussy, he will take it any way. Maybe an Americano. His stress management skills include frolicking and screaming through a small field in front of his hidden gem of a studio in Terryland or throwing rocks at the beach imagining them as emotions. You will learn later that he encompasses that  micro-experience into his recent show. You will find a series called stepping stones that was recently on display in the Town Hall Theatre, where I first got to meet the man in person. The series in the show grew from his response to the rocks, realizing how unique each one was in it’s shape, striations and feel.

'‘We think they are all the same and they aren’t’' It is the detail that really makes it and so this series relates that idea to the human form. These pieces are all painted in the same shape but the color and pattern is what makes you react and you can choose how to react accordingly, when and to which ones. Then the series became a personal journey, to allow myself to be confined within a shape; to be restricted to a section and to focus on expressing emotion/feeling through colour. He uses mostly Spanish Montana cans and not the German stuff in all of the works pictured here. (The difference the Spanish can is the original graffiti paint.)

He’s open, accessible & full of life-lessons. The 1988 born graf head turning fine visual artist plans to bring Galway’s first outdoor gallery to town. He’s ambitious, diplomatic and certainly not sensory deprived. Some of the first words out of his mouth were, '‘I have always been a dreamer’' so I knew the next hour of questions (that turned into 4hrs) would go along like a hot knife through butter. Assuming his big dream would be something that egos breed in the street art world but for him it’s not at all the case, it’s genuinely mentorship and human connection.

Finbar sought his own truth through a long and possibly agonizing process & now wants others to absorb that from him in essence of their own. Before we met I overheard him talking to a gallery guest about actually reimagining and transforming the whole space. The walls were orange and the ceilings were pink. His show breathed a new look, a new life into the space & what that ease-drop encompasses perfectly symbolizes the person I got to know; an agent of change and transformation.

Finbar is an educator, painter, graphic designer, traveler, newly appointed residential committee member in Galway’s Terrytown neighborhood and doesn’t stop smiling ear-to-ear. Even more special to catch him on the last day of a show called Feelings at the Town Hall Theatre. Notions of love, balance, permanency, self-control, heart ache, understanding, relationships, redemption and regret are all spelled out in black and white (labels) as well as depicted in abstract expressionism via colour (the works).

Kady: What are your though of vision on Galway as being dubbed city of the arts?

Finbar: People often land in Galway to be creative and I find what happens is people don’t make art but rather talk about it. There is a disconnect. So if you just put brush to canvas you are bound to be a very big fish in a small pond. But I will say, being here, you may need to leave to really be able to appreciate it.

Kady: I can sense that a bit as I have been consuming the scene, digging, documenting and sense there is not much going on in this city of 80,000. Can you speak to the local scene a bit more?

Finbar: [lauhgs] There are two or three writers and a whole lot of issues. Read a little more here, I painted that thing 6 times. http://connachttribune.ie/city-council-bans-mural-two-months-after-they-commissioned-it-247/ (pictured here)

Kady: That was the 1sst mural I saw here & upon researching it I discovered your show and read that this is the first debut of Finbar McHugh vs. Finbar247, what’s the identity change?

Finbar: It’s about transitioning from the identity I built for myself as a graf writer which I have been doing for over a decade. A person, a character, I could fill the shoes of (see picture above). It is a journey of stepping into your own shoes and the vulnerability that comes with discovering your own truth. In that process you realize your vulnerabilities at your strengths. I started out undercover and that culture is different from being in the light. Don’t get me wrong, I love public work, it’s completely open and you practice different then in the studio.

Kady: That exudes in your works & based on the description what are your thoughts on love & gender?

Finbar: You are always loving or learning and gender is fluid. We all have feminine and masculine parts and they show or are expressed in reaction to self, environment, time, mood, etc. It’s not a male or a female, it is a person. The ying/yang piece [points over to the wall] is about just that.

We went on to enjoy a slice at the local stop where I got to learn about his favorite ex partner, his side of the bed, ice-cream preference and struggle with the colour green. More to come on Finbar as I follow his journey moving forward & I highly suggest you do the same @finbar247 or www.facebook.com/finbar247/

Top 2 photos were pulled form his facebook page & the others are from the beginning of my journey discovering his work.

I’m delighted to share w u the life & work of @nic707otb for N art dose. Saturate yourself in the colour & style of the last of the 1st generation old-school Graf heads. Argentinian turned Bronx boy is a 22nd century thinker. Exploding w/ personality nic has brought kilroy into the contemporary world. Curator & producer of the famous subway gallery & mastermind of InstaFame Phantom Art Movement,  707 is pictured here when the NYTimes came to document his mind & home that is now a graffiti museum. A Non-intrusive, all illusive, completely inclusive–21st century approach to street art, a notable innovation on public art & redefining galleries as open, accessible, & affordable to ALL.

He is a very near & dear friend & I cherish our time ppl watching in McDonald’s, navigating a private party in the sex museum or feeding the rats gummies in the catacombs of NYC. He traveled to be a featured artist at MuralFest, where his work was then used to address blight in the post-industrial upstate town as pictured above. Take a dive into this one b/c this complex brilliance should not go unnoticed. #love you man. #respect

BIO (more eloquently written) BELOW AT ​http://nic707.com/

Nic 707 figures prominently in the history of the New York graffiti movement which began to flourish in the early 1970's.  Born in Argentina as Fernando Pablo Miteff, he is the son of the famed Argentinian Heavyweight boxer, Pablo Alexis Miteff.  Fernando was raised in The Bronx, where he became part of the City’s radical and youth-driven urban art explosion.  Inspired by the bold antics and ubiquitous works of artists like Phase 2 and Checker 170, he began as a “tagger” under the names of Stine 169 and Tuc 2.  Fernando adopted Nic 707 in 1974 to experiment with combining the “Styles” of earlier artists he admired as well as his creating own unique styles.  Nic 707’s work soon became a common site throughout New York’s IRT and IND subway lines.

Nic 707 is an early “Style Master,” a rare title of merit that acknowledges exceptional creativity, refined artistic talent and the willingness to share techniques with other artists.  Nic 707 is one of the last surviving links between the 1st generation of Style Masters and the 2nd generation, exemplified by Chain 3, Kool 131 and Kase 2. 

Nic 707's enduring influence on the world of graffiti includes the mentoring of up and coming artists and noteworthy collaborations with many of the field’s celebrated luminaries.  Of particular note is the success of Nic 707's protege, Noc 167 (Melvin Samuels, Jr.), who is considered one of graffiti’s legendary talents.  Nic 707 also founded the renowned OTB (“Out to Bomb” or “Only the Best”) graffiti crew and was its first president.  Today, OTB boasts an active membership of thousands of dedicated artists worldwide.

The notions of adventure & global thinking correlates w/ the diversity of spirit & talent for the artist to be limelighted here. There are 1,000s of street artists but only a truly small handful is as special as @vballentine99

We crossed paths jammin' on the Halsey Street Dreamway project with xMental, Inc in 2014. Since then we have spent hours together non-stop talking art. He has guest spoke at the mural art classes I taught in Harlem and has let me boogie around town with him for a chance to absorb his spirit as much as possible.

He’s a man of so many well deserved titles but today let’s focus on his work as a street artist. Ohio raised, Brooklyn based, mega bomb of talent, father to the world, videographer & urban ethnographic street artist, Vince has painted all over NYC & shares his story & power of the can w any1 he shares time with. Check his Insta & pic your fav piece & show the person next 2 you & open a 120sec dialogue, see where it takes you b/c that’s Ballentine’s portal into a deeper, brighter, more accessible world.

Jarrad Mckay aka Art by Jarrad aka Jay.
This man deserves so much more than today’s spotlight. Multiple generational Mardi Gras Indian turned street art talent-bomb, this man is not only wise, dedicated & aware but he has quite the plan for coloring the world w/ a symbol of strength. The iconic camouflage represents the soldier he sees in all of us as a result of growing up in NOLA. Albeit adversity, death, war zones & fighting history Neworleanians celebrate in response & that has created a machine of brilliance. That’s the soldier in us & it’s hidden. He elevates the story by paying homage to the fact that the shit is about to blow up, a symbol of his attitude & approach to art, raw, real & aggressive. If you’re a collector, street art enthusiast, lover of visual art check out @artby_jay Marks my words, don’t wait.
He is a New Orleans native who fell in love with art at a young age. He discovered his love for art moving around to different school in Orleans Parish, where he landed— taking classes at New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA), a breeding ground for talent and fame in the art world. As a little boy he was immersed into the culture of the historical Mardi Gras Indians, wearing his first suit at age three. The head to toe suit was handcrafted by his grandfather. This lead him to adulthood, where today he follows the same traditions. Thousands of hours in a meticulous process of conjuring up, designing, creating, drafting, narrating and then hand sewing the garb.
Jay moved to Washington DC in 2006, post Katrina. His art teacher sponsored him to go to Africa to study art in Cape Town, South Africa and hasn’t stopped being a creative force in the art world since. At the age of 15 he elevated his art and combined minds as an entrepreneur and began life as a tattoo artist, embellishing bodies of all makes and models with graphics.
Today he dubs the title studio painter, street artist, public performer, amongst so many more that he seeks to grow into. Everything Jay touches turns into an aesthetic haven. In addition to the camouflage grenade his most unique practice is building up 3-dimensional sculptures on canvas. After generations of celebratory use, the hand-crafted Made Gras patches are worked into his pieces.
The dream is to share his vibrancy and soul with the world in a way that ensures his philosophies of strength and resilience coat every corner or the world starting in NOLA.

Narrative & Photos by Allison Thaemlitz
1# I don’t remember where exactly it was, but I believe it was in Dublin, which is why it’s more of a commemoration of the past feel than that of a hard political statement.
#2 was in Galway, which is more of an artsy college town feel. That’s why it’s more of an artist work.
The last three are absolutely from Belfast when my class was touring some of the murals. These were on the walls that separate parts of the city and further down the road is the gate that gets closed every night. People on both sides want this arrangement and there were protests when the city proposed taking down the walls and gates.
Mural topics aren’t isolated to Irish v. British or Catholic v Protestant. Each side sees parallels to their struggles all around the world, which is why you see murals about Palestine (supported by Catholics) and Israel (supported by Protestants) as in # 3 when a mural demanding the release of Irish separatists is right next to one demanding the release of Palestinian political prisoners. You can see the same themes in #4 as well.
Marian Price, whose release is demanded in the three Belfast murals, is a prominent Irish republican arrested in 2011. I was there in May 2013 and she was released at the end of that month. She had been very active with the IRA and its bombings in London.
There’s no real direct religious context in these pictures that are more focused on politics, but there were other murals that I don’t have pictures of focusing on religion, local “heroes & martyrs” from both sides
#4 has a mural using Gealic (the 25 years one the words mean “in memory” and language has strong meaning to the Catholic/Northern Irish side because Gaelic was outlawed by the British. Many who can afford it will send their children to Western Ireland or at least enroll them in classes to learn Gaelic from people who still use it in every day conversation. As a language it’s on the rise in Ireland and Northern Ireland. In Galway, all government signs in Ireland will be in English and Gaelic, but only in English in Northern Ireland.

5 is interesting because next to a mural celebrating Marian Price and resistance is one that advocates for use of the local black taxies. Similarly to London’s black cabs, these cabbies also serve as local tour guides and as you can expect the narrative a visitor receives varies widely depending on who is telling the story. My group was guided by an academic who tried to give as even handed narrative as possible, but there are others like this one that blends patriotic pride with advertising the “real” story from locals.


6 was on another area of wall and reiterates the similarities between causes. If I remember correctly its focus was more on bringing both sides together

#7 shows murals on the sides of buildings which is the most common place they tend to appear and the places that police and academic watch to gauge the level of tension between the two sides. The themes in on these tend to focus more on locals heroes and martyrs from both sides, demanding the release of “political” prisoners, some focused on the political figures and the Queen both complementary and not. A few celebrated the titanic which was built in Belfast.
I wish I had more pictures like #7, but most of them turned out blurry because on that part of the tour we were driving around Belfast and were not allowed to stop for a closer look. These are rougher neighborhoods that are suspicious of outsiders. Our guide had told us about other tours he’d given to other academics and politicians where he’d been showing them around on foot. There were times he wouldn’t go into other areas because it just felt hostile, and other times when he would be approached by a local and told to leave, which he did without question.

This is a picture of me taken while conducting research for my graduate degree at the HOPE Outdoor Gallery in Austin, TX established by the famous Shepard Fairey. I was trying to push the park home!

The grounds are used for accessible music programming and the equivalent of a football field for athletes to practice, this place is a soulful spot for the congregation of street artists to concentrate their work, improve skills, collaborate, as well as to heighten the aesthetic of their wall works. It is designed as a pressure-free-legal way that still pays homage to and celebrates graffiti culture.

This image does not capture, at all, the feel of the place. From the top, you could hear different languages being spoken, see kids playing in a safe and sound and vibrant outdoor community center. Do not let me fail to mention the view of the city. This place is exemplary in many ways and should be replicated in cities around the country. Cities that pour thousands of dollars into abatement efforts and cities that invest millions into hopeful tourism projects; of course, be sure yours has a fabulous local twist and curatorial staff and events production team.

I have been working to lay the ground work to get one of these in New Orleans and given the current ecosystem it can happen in the next two to three years!