A little background… My name is Susan, I’m the Executive Director of Freetown Studios (www.freetownstudios.org). I am also the Curator/Project Manager for The Art Wall Project (previously known as the Grafitti Wall). In 2016, I was approached by a 16 year old young man, Asher Corbell, and he asked me to help him create a Graffiti Wall (similar to HOPE Gallery in ATX). I told him I wanted to help in any way possible and became his team member. I encouraged him to apply to a 24 Hour Citizens Project, and he was awarded $1,000.
As mentioned during previous updates, locating a space was difficult as Lafayette is just jumping on the mural/street art scene. As in just barely dipping its toe in the water for the “mural/street art scene” and we still have lots of work to do with the public misconception about graffiti. Most locations fell though because the for reasons of conservatism (I guess) and (perhaps) the organic nature of the concept was difficult to grasp as most building owners want a mural to help “brand” their business and that restricts the creativity of the artist. Most artist (myself included) can see an image of what they want to paint within seconds of looking at a surface (i.e.,page, a wall, and/or a canvas).
Our team has since prevailed, and has identified a location at 124 and 126 S. Buchanan St., Lafayette, LA 70501. The property is owned by LPTFA (Lafayette Public Trust Financing Authority). With that location came a change in vision for the wall. The prior ever changing “Graffiti Wall” concept has been changed to the “Art Wall,” which will be designated doors targeted for murals by artists through a formal application process. Each mural will be a permanent public street art installation.
Our team was able to negotiate a contract to include a stipend per door for the artist to use as need for materials as well as a fee for the overall curation of the project. There are a total of 7 roll up warehouse doors, with the benefit being multiple “canvases” for art and the ability to pay our artists working on the project. We also agreed to create a “Call for Art” to have artist applicants submit an application to a juried call to be chosen to work on the project. Our deadline for the artist submission was October 31st and we will announce all participants after November 15th. We anticipate the first artist to start working over Thanksgiving and through December as weather permits with the project to be completed by July 2018.
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Susan David (Team Leader)