Speaker Series : Social Activism in Street Art

Event Tag(s): Speaker Series

Street art and activism are intrinsically connected and can be seen in examples across history from the Berlin Wall to the Black Lives Matter movement. Through the democratization of public spaces, street art aims to reclaim communities from gentrifying forces, to build back a sense of home for marginalized people, and to propose alternative social structures. But the questions remain: who is allowed to create public art and who controls the narrative? Is street art itself becoming gentrified? How do we keep the core values of the art form intact?  

This lively panel discussion included local street artists Elicser Elliot, Bareket Kezwer, Moises Frank (Luvs), Nick Sweetman, and Natalie Very B, as well as our moderator Parul Pandya. The artists discussed their process and experience with producing works of art located in the public realm, and their motivations ranging from explicitly political to narratives inspiring growth, community, and acceptance. This discussion created a dialogue for emerging and mid-career artists about how activism and art are interconnected, and why it’s important to understand and be intentional about one’s participation in creating art in the public realm.

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