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352walls/The Gainesville Urban Art Initiative to Transform Downtown Gainesville

10/28/2015

This fall, downtown Gainesville will begin a colorful transformation and enter into a new phase of its cultural renaissance. 352walls/The Gainesville Urban Art Initiative will feature the work of 13 renowned international muralists and 13 of the region’s best artists, as well. The 352walls experience is scheduled to begin Friday, Oct. 30 and run through Wednesday, Nov. 25, then resuming in January 2016. Afterward, the murals will be available for viewing year-round.

352walls/The Gainesville Urban Art Initiative offers residents, students and visitors an opportunity to watch talented artists paint their outdoor murals while they are created. From Friday, Oct. 30 through Thursday, Nov. 12, a group of regional artists that were selected from applications received through a call to artists, will create murals on the new Make.Work facility, housed in the iconic Discount Hi-Fi building adjacent to Depot Park. The list of regional artists includes: Blake Harrison, Tiara Henderson, Jefreid Lotti, Carrie Wachter-Martinez, Jesus Martinez, Turbado Marabou, Rachel Sommer, Point108, Luis Justo Rodriguez, Evan Galbicka, Senta Achee, Clea Lauriault and Jenna Horner.

From Monday, Nov. 16 through Wednesday, Nov. 25, a group of world-famous urban artists will create their murals throughout historic downtown Gainesville. The international artists and their walls are:

  • Pastel from Argentina (The Top wall)
  • Franco Fasoli JAZ from Argentina (The Shadow Health wall)
  • Alexis Diaz from Puerto Rico (The High Dive wall)
  • Axel Void from Spain (The Bull wall)
  • L.E.O. from Miami (The Loosey’s wall)
  • Evoca1 from the Dominican Republic (The Downtown Parking Garage wall, located at 105 SW Third St.)
  • Gaia from Baltimore, Maryland (The Downtown Parking Garage wall, located at 105 SW Third St.)
  • 2Alas duo from Cuba and Puerto Rico (The Hector Gallery wall)
  • Elian from Argentina (The Haven Hospice/Rails-to-Trails wall)

In January 2016, 352walls will showcase the Ukranian duo known as Interesni Kaski, as they paint a mural at Market Street Pub. Later in February, the renowned Portuguese artist Add Fuel will create multiple public artworks.

Images of previous projects by the muralists can be viewed at https://www.flickr.com/photos/gainesville/albums/72157659884526491. A map of the mural walls is available to print at http://www.cityofgainesville.org\Portals\0\cmo\352WALLS-map.pdf. An interactive map is also available on the 352walls website at www.352walls.org.

Free companion events include:
Meet and greet the artists
Thursday, Nov. 19 from 7:30-9:30 p.m. at the Historic Thomas Center
Meet and greet the artists involved in this fall’s 352walls. The evening features a photography exhibition of work by curator Iryna Kanishcheva, as well as the world premiere of the documentary “Glimpse of America” by Italian artist 2501, who created the first 352walls mural on the :08 seconds building in downtown Gainesville last June.

“Musical Medicine at the Murals” concert celebrates National Arts in Mental Health Month
Sunday, Nov. 22 from 3-5 p.m. at the Haven Hospice/Rails-to-Trails wall, located at 231 NW 10th Ave.
In celebration of National Arts in Health Month and the 352walls project, the public is invited to enjoy “Musical Medicine at the Murals.” This free event features Cathy DeWitt, Jason Hedges, Nan Gordon, Annie McPherson and other musicians who have brought joy, comfort, and positive impact to our community by bringing their music to hospitals, VA centers, Alzheimer’s and dementia facilities and other healthcare settings. 

352walls/The Gainesville Urban Art Project is a groundbreaking tourism development initiative for the Gainesville community. The project is: coordinated by the City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department (PRCA); conceived and curated by Iryna Kanishcheva; sponsored by VisitGainesville, the Gainesville Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA), the Gainesville-Alachua County Art in Public Places Trust who also serves at the 352walls public art advisory body and is supported by the Arts Association of Alachua County, the Florida Community Design Center and the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Council on Arts and Culture. This international urban art project promises to position Gainesville as a cultural destination in future years, foster economic development and promote urban renewal, all of which are also goals of the city and county’s new 352ArtsRoadmap Cultural Master Plan.

“In the summary of our 352ArtsRoadmap, we define culture as all creative expression: ethnic, ecological, historic, literary, fine, folk, and popular arts, the humanities, sciences and technology and all the wonderful creativity in between,” said Russell Etling, PRCA’s cultural affairs manager. “A core aim of the 352ArtsRoadmap plan is to leverage the 352 area’s creative potential and distinctiveness with more public art and design.”

“This international project serves to strengthen our cultural stature,” said Iryna Kanishcheva, 352walls curator. “This is bigger than any one mural; the city is our canvas.”

This type of mural project is a trend in the United States and internationally; however, events of this magnitude are typically found in larger metropolitan areas such as Seattle, Denver, Detroit or Miami. This is a first for Gainesville and north central Florida.

Share your experiences on social media with #352walls. All interested parties are encouraged to connect with 352walls on social media at:
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/352walls
Twitter @352walls
Instagram @352walls

352walls/The Gainesville Urban Art Project is an international urban art initiative that promises to position Gainesville as a vibrant cultural destination, foster tourism and economic development, promote urban renewal and foster community pride. For additional information, please contact Russell Etling, cultural affairs manager, at etlingrh@cityofgainesville.org or 352-393-8532 or visit www.352walls.org.