516 ARTS, in partnership with the ACLU-NM and local arts organizations, presents STREET ARTS: A Celebration of Hip Hop Culture & Free Expression, a multi-layered collaboration during October and November 2010 in Albuquerque, featuring local, national and international artists in a major exhibition at 516 ARTS, performing and literary arts events, mural projects, tours of street arts projects, panel discussions, workshops, a Spoken Word Festival and a Hip Hop Film Festival.
The project celebrates art in the urban environment and explores issues of freedom of expression. It centers around the two-part exhibition Street Text at 516 ARTS, examining Street Art and its evolution into an international cultural movement. The portion of the exhibition titled Art from the Coasts is curated by Andrew Connors, Curator of Art at the Albuquerque Museum. It compares masters of graffiti art from Los Angeles and New York, including the work of Chaz Bojórquez, Gajin Fujita, Lee Quinones and Lady Pink, as well as the documentary photography of Henry Chalfant. The portion of the exhibition titled The Populist Phenomenon, curated by Francesca Searer of 516 ARTS, examines street artists’ work as a means of expressing a message to the masses. Featured New Mexico artists include Albert Rosales, Thomas Christopher Haag, Jake Fragua and NESE; and guest artists include Shepard Fairey (Los Angeles), Mark Jenkins (Washington, DC), Alexandre Orion (São Paolo, Brazil), Chris Stain (New York), Slinkachu (London), SWOON (New York) and Chip Thomas (Arizona).
.Many of the related programs and events focus on educating young people about their civil liberties. This project helps connect New Mexico artists, performers and audiences with a larger dialogue that is happening around the globe. Special guest performers for the Spoken Word Festival (November 4-7) include Amiri Baraka (New Jersey) and Cecil Taylor (New York), Kevin Coval (Chicago), Idris Goodwin (Iowa/New Mexico), Jonathan Khumbulani Nkala (South Africa), Amalia Ortiz (San Diego), and Saywut (New Mexico), among others.
The lead organization for this collaboration is 516 ARTS, a vibrant, independent, nonprofit center for contemporary art in New Mexico and a hub for the arts in Downtown Albuquerque’s revitalization. Partnering organizations include the ACLU-NM, The Cell Theatre, Church of Beethoven, The City of Albuquerque Public Art Program, The Albuquerque Museum, ABQ-Ride, Downtown Action Team and Downtown Arts & Cultural District, Creative Albuquerque, The Guild Cinema, KiMo Theatre, National Hispanic Cultural Center, North 4th Art Center, Outpost Performance Space, Warehouse 508 and Working Classroom. 516 ARTS will publish a guide to the STREET ARTS celebration, and partnering organizations will participate in a shared marketing campaign. Stay tuned!