352walls/Gainesville Urban Art Initiative Launches a New Season


The 352walls/Gainesville Urban Art Initiative kicks off a new season in October with a series of lectures, masterclasses, murals and hands-on workshops in an innovative collaboration with the University of Florida School of Art + Art History. The 352walls Masterclass Series features internationally acclaimed urban/street artists who are currently teaching at diverse universities. These new educational programs complement the 352walls mission to position Gainesville as a vibrant cultural destination, stimulate urban renewal, foster tourism and economic development, beautify the urban landscape, boost community pride and serve as a platform for urban art studies.

Prominent street artist Gaia returns to Gainesville to kick off the 352walls Masterclass Series. Gaia, whose real name is Andrew Pisacane, was on the forefront of the American urban art movement in the 1990s. He was recently named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 for Art & Style and is featured in the book “Beyond the Street: The 100 Leading Figures in Urban Art.” Gaia’s work has been exhibited throughout the world.

Gaia arrives Tuesday, Oct. 25 to lead a panel discussion on the subject of his recent Gainesville mural titled What Are the Aesthetics of Reinvestment. The panel discussion is at the Civic Media Center, which is located at 433 S. Main St., from 6-8 p.m. Panelists include Lenny Correa (aka LunarNewYear), artist, teacher, activist and curator; Faye Williams, local activist, organizer and scholar; Monica Compana, artist, curator and founder of Living Walls Atlanta; and Mia Loving, curator and founder of the Invisible Majority. A reception with the artist will follow the program.

On Wednesday, Oct. 26, Gaia will speak about the remarkable history of the global urban/street art movement and talk about his artistic journey. This takes place at the UF Fine Arts Building, room 105, from 6-7 p.m. and will be followed by a questions and answers session.

From 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 27, Gaia will teach a workshop to introduce students to airbrush painting, spray painting and other techniques at the 352 teaching wall, located at 706 W. University Ave., weather permitting. The popular Gainesville eatery, Leonardo’s 706, has provided the “352 teaching wall” for urban artists and students to paint on an ongoing basis.

A second workshop by Gaia is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 27 in which participants will design and create a mural applying the various techniques taught by the multifaceted artist at the 352 teaching wall from 10 a.m.-1 p.m., weather permitting.

352walls and Héctor Framing & Gallery present David Zayas, a master muralist and professor of art at the Metropolitan University in San Juan, Puerto Rico. During his two week stay from Oct. 26 to Nov. 8, Zayas will create a spectacular mural at Leonardo’s 706, weather permitting.

Zayas will also teach a hands- on mural painting workshop Friday, Nov. 4 from 1-5 p.m. at the 352 teaching wall, weather permitting.

352walls and the National Institute of Urban Art based in south Florida have teamed up to showcase Brian Adam Douglas, the gifted “paper painter” from Brooklyn. Douglas has been pasting (yes, pasting) and painting his distinctive woodcuts, stencils, charcoal drawings and collages onto the walls of cities all over the world under the name Elbow Toe. Douglas is currently an adjunct professor at legendary School of Visual Arts in New York City. From Nov. 14-20, Elbow Toe will create a mural in Gainesville, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. in a location to be determined by the artist upon his arrival.

On Friday, Nov. 18, Elbow Toe will teach a wheat pasting master class emphasizing approach, technique and materials at the 352 teaching wall from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., weather permitting. This is a unique and exciting opportunity for participants to learn his exceptional techniques.

Photographs of visiting artists can be viewed at

Classes are free and open to students, artists, the general public and the curious; however, space is limited and reservations are required. Participants must be over 18-years-old, able-bodied and able to stand for two hours. Participants must bring their own tools, hats, bottled water, working gloves, used clothing, etc.

If you are interested in attending the 352walls Masterclass Series, please visit to find the reference code for each class before registering. To register, contact Erin M. Connelly at Leave your name, email, cell number and the event reference code.

The 352walls/Gainesville Urban Art Initiative is produced by the City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department, Cultural Affairs Manager Russell Etling and 352walls Project Coordinator Raquel Vallejo.

The 352walls Curatorial committee includes Anne Gilroy, Bill Bryson, Craig O’Neil, Julia Morrisroe and Kerry Oliver-Smith.

The project partners include the University of Florida School of Art + Art History, Gainesville-Alachua County Art in Public Places Trust, Gainesville Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA), Florida Community Design Center, Gainesville Arts & Parks Foundation, Artwalk Gainesville, National Institute of Urban Art, Héctor Framing & Gallery, Leonardo’s 706 Restaurant, Bulla Cubana, Civic Media Center and more to follow!

For additional information, please contact Raquel Vallejo, 352walls program coordinator, at 352-393-8534 or