Hampton Roads: The Canvas

I thought I would bring it back home for a bit. Interesting things are happening everywhere and this one is pretty neat back where I am from...


"It's a disease, anytime a government lets a disease spread like that it's up to the people to stop it.... I believe these artists are stepping in to a large degree where the government has failed," Jesse Scaccia defends to the camera about the resistance to the ongoing spread of sad and lonely boarded up buildings where he and so much other creative talent lives. Jesse is the voice behind the documentary Hampton Roads: The Canvas (the Artification of Zedd's Auction House), by director Elyse Lovelace, as well as a writer for ALTDaily.com, a website devoted to all things creative and pressing in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia.

ALTDaily.com is behind a beautiful project in Hampton Roads set out to make the area alive again. If you walk through the streets of Downtown Norfolk, VA the site would never give wind to the thriving culture that lives there. Boarded buildings, forgotten stacked bricks and nailed wood linger solemnly on the streets for the commuters to blend into. The streets of Downtown Norfolk and the scenery that accompanies them is putting a damper on the creative souls and underground art scene that live there. So, they are going to make it look alive again, make people recognize that Norfolk is not as depressing, isolated, and grey as it may look when you walk down the forgotten streets.

The first building that fell prey to the project was The Zedd's Building on Granby Street in Norfolk, VA. The four artists James Davis, Elizabeth Cook, Asa Jackson, and Chris Ranes set up to "artify" the building that has been abandoned for over 2 years. An outdoor, free art gallery of sorts.
The artists and Altdaily.com, with help from The Chrysler Museum of Arts, the Art Department at ODU and the Downtown Norfolk Council, made this kick-ass project possible. I wish they would spread the love and creativity our direction. This project is amazing and I support it 100%. Tell people about this project; not only to show your support but to spread an idea that is so beautiful. If the big buildings we build go to shit, paint them pretty again so the people in cities like this don't fall into a sad, uninspired existence. I LOVE THIS.

"It's real weird, people talk about art and critique it and criticize it and stuff and all this is good or this isn't; to me art is just art," James Davis says. He expresses himself through stencils and graffiti. He is unique as an underground graffiti artist in he does not want to do it illegally so he focuses on canvas. That was until he was given the chance to express himself on a building... legally. His focus of his art is to just make people think.

Elizabeth Cook's art is cartoon and whimsical but with a deep meaning that is more than the surface gives wind to. Elizabeth thinks, "we can definitely put work out there and have art start to be like a communication between the artist and the whole community not the artist and one little group of people that like to go to the gallery."

"True Face, I mean that's just straight energy right there," Jesse explains. Asa Jackson just paints from his head. I remember taking art classes with him in high school and our art teacher getting so frustrated with him because he would never take a direction. She was worried he was wasting her paints. He never mixed, he never drew out, he just plopped paint on the tip of the brush and a masterpiece just formed. He never wasted paints though; the paintings always turned out unique and purposeful.

Chris Ranes art is hard to place. His work is abstract, geometrical, abstract functional, realism. He is all over the place. " I hope that Norfolk likes looking at it as much as I enjoyed doing it," Chris says.

The project page can be found on Facebook here :

Credits to:
Shanika Smiley for posting the video on Vimeo.com
Director Elyse Lovelace
ALTDaily.com, Jesse Scaccia and Elyse Lovelace again
Unclw Dro and Asa Jackson's facebook for the picture

Just finding some interesting stuff for some interesting people to become interested about!

No comments:

Post a Comment