Wide Open Walls

Sacramento's Own Mural Festival

Painting The Town With Wide Open Walls

Aug 142018

undefinedIt’s summer which means new artwork is quickly approaching the walls of Sacramento! Widen Open Walls, whose mission is “to promote art and celebrate public art” has announced their lineup for the summer of 2018. The lineup is filled with 29 amazing local and international artists. The headliner for 2018 has a piece of art you might just recognize.

Shepard Fairey, whose iconic “Hope” poster became monumental part of former president Barack Obama’s 2008 election campaign. With an image so well known around the world, Sacramento is excited to have his art on it’s walls.

Faiery will paint a large mural of Johnny Cash on Marriott’s 16th Street wall, facing the Folsom State Prison. The mural is a tribute to Cash’s iconic performance in 1968. He will paint the image below which includes pieces of history within the larger scale mural.

The lineup also includes local artists like Michele Murtaugh, Stan Padilla, and Jenn Poci, and many more. “In 2017, thousands of art enthusiasts visited the 44 walls during and after the festival, and Sobon says 2018 should be no different. “ The festival runs from August 9-19th at various locations.

Throughout the 11-day festival, there are self-guided walking or biking tours, small live concerts, pop-up art shows, and block parties around the area. For more information on whats happening and what artists are participating take a look at this article from Sactown Magazine and visit Wide Open Walls website.

Let’s paint the (SAC)town!


Aug 132018

Whether or not the name Shepard Fairey automatically conjures images of pop culture subversion, punk rock idolatry or street-art politics is irrelevant at this point. The 48-year-old artist is responsible for some of the most iconic imagery to have ever befouled the sacred real estate of public spaces in the last 28 years—from the salad days naïveté of an “Andre the Giant Has a Posse” guerilla stickering campaign throughout the Northeastern United States in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, to an uncommissioned but extremely powerful presidential campaign poster for then-candidate Barack Obama with the simple message of “Hope” emblazoned beneath his image later on, Fairey’s work has possessed the kind of omnipresence that few artists in history have achieved. His has been a life inspired first by reclaiming public spaces with his artwork (rather than continuing to be inundated by corporate advertising), then marveling in the stoking of conversations raised by the imagery he’s introduced—a “vocabulary of motifs,” as he puts it, that at once are recognizably his, but which afterward have become the centerpoint of international protests, provocation, even lawsuits.

That Fairey has been arrested some 18 times for distributing his artwork is perhaps the greatest indicator of its power, though he admits that he relishes the benefits of no longer having to be quite so anonymous, or quite so secretive.

“I enjoyed the freedom of anonymity when I started, but I also didn’t enjoy the poverty,” Fairey explained to Submerge. “Having the opportunity to make art without worrying whether or not I was gonna survive, that took 10 years for me to get to. Even though I loved walking around New York City putting up a poster, walking another 20 feet and being able to hear people discuss the poster that just went up without having any idea I did it and getting that eavesdrop, then there was the other part of my day where I was putting my last two bucks toward a burrito [laughs]. My spirit, in terms of speaking my mind and taking risks, is the same it’s always been.”

That spirit will be in full force during the Wide Open Walls muraling event taking place in Sacramento from Aug. 9–19, when Fairey headlines a stacked list of artists all doing their part to take back the streets. Fairey will be creating a giant mural of Johnny Cash on the L Street side of the Residence Inn by Marriott, with Cash’s gaze cast in the direction of Folsom Prison. Fairey talked about his contribution to Wide Open Walls and more with Submerge recently.

Read More here:

Painting Her Truth

Aug 132018

Painting Her Truth • China Native LIN FEI FEI Gifts Holy Diver with Stunning Melancholic Mural for Wide Open Walls https://submergemag.us13.list-manage.com/track/click?u=8953cd872f15c6deb2f8a1061&id=94ca99a077&e=f438b5db9b

“The theme of the mural involves the concept of humans becoming reborn... I want it to be positive and fierce. Something special for the building. The images will involve a kind of screaming war between figures.”

Click HERE to read more!

40 local and international street artists to live-paint murals at Sacramento festival this month

Aug 092018

By Mikaela Luke
Aug 10, 2017

undefinedStreet art is big here, but it's huge in Sacramento—more than 600 murals have appeared to brighten the walls of California's capital city over the last 40 years. And starting today, artists from all over the world are flocking to Sactown for the Wide Open Walls festival to create a few large-scale pieces of art themselves.

Having debuted last year as the Sacramento Mural Festival, Wide Open Walls—now through August 20th—is a full-blown street art extravaganza with gallery openings, mural tours, artist panels, and parties—the Wall Ball, on August 19th, will cap the festival with live DJs, craft cocktails, and interactive art to benefit local arts education.

But the real reason to make the drive to Sacramento is to see no fewer than 40 artists live-painting before your eyes. Look for hearty representation from Sacramento artists, as well as talent from around the world, plus Bay Area native Jeremiah Kille. (Check the map for locations).

Headed that way? Keep an eye out for these 10 international artists.


Aug 072018

Media is invited to join political, local, educational and art leaders at our 2018 Wide Open Walls kickoff press conference scheduled for 10-11 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 9, at Sacramento State.

In addition to scheduled speakers, artists will be working on the event’s first piece of art, titled “Sacramento Mural at Sac State,” creating individual pieces of art from each 15-foot-tall letter spelling the city’s name.

Wide Open Walls
Kickoff Press Conference
Thursday, August, 9
10:00 - 11:00 AM
  Shasta Hall
Sacramento State,
6000 J St. Sacramento, CA
 Blank Box

Complimentary parking will be provided to confirmed media outlets in Lot 2A. Volunteers will be on hand to direct media traffic.

Scheduled to speak:
• Doris Matsui, U.S. Congresswoman, California 6th District
• Darrell Steinberg, Sacramento Mayor
• Mike Testa, President and CEO, Visit Sacramento
• Robert S. Nelson, President, Sacramento State
• Sheree Meyer, Dean, College of Arts and Letters
• Raphael Delgado, Wide Open Walls Muralist

Wide Open Walls is a 501(3)(c) whose mission is to promote and celebrate public art. Wide Open Walls brings underserved neighborhoods public art that encourages a sense of pride and identity; provides community gathering spaces; generates impactful, measurable economic growth for the Sacramento region; and promotes greater cultural understanding and appreciation among diverse groups. Now the largest mural festival in the country, the organization’s mission is personified through its annual festival in August that brings local, national and international artists together to transform Sacramento with original and stunning street art. Additionally, Wide Open Walls supports other events throughout the year, including The Mural Jam, Sac Republic's Paint The Park, and the upcoming Playa Art Trail.

NOTE : Please confirm via email by 5:00 pm Wednesday, August 8 to patrickharbison@gmail.com.

Wide Open Walls mural festival brings locals together with big names

Jul 172018


July 13, 2018 02:06 PM

Dozens of artists will descend on Sacramento next month to paint murals all over the city during the 10-day Wide Open Walls mural festival.

Wide Open Walls 2018, which takes place Aug. 9-19, will feature about 40 local, national and international artists.

Organizers are challenging the artists to create designs that align with their landscape, with the goal that the murals will become permanent gifts to Sacramento, according to a post on the event’s Facebook page.

The list of artists include names such as Shepard Fairey, best known for his “Hope” poster Barack Obama used during the 2008 presidential campaign, and Shamsia Hassani, the first female graffiti artist in Afghanistan, along with locals like Michele Murtaugh and Aizik Brown.

Murtaugh is an Arizona native who, according to her biography, started teaching herself how to paint when she was 30. She lives in Sacramento and most of her work focuses on the detailed female form draped in fabrics set against an uncluttered white background.

The white provides an infinite space that she can play with, Murtaugh said, and fabric takes on a character and emotion as well.

Much of her work, which Murtaugh describes as very powerful, sensual and passionate, might also be considered a little too risque to be displayed on the side of, say, the Elks Tower Casino and Lounge on J Street -- which it will be.

But Murtaugh has come up with a compromise.

“I’m making it a little more palatable for the public, but still keeping with the strong powerful women as the center characters for my work,” Murtaugh said.

Four silk aerialists will hang from the top of the building, said Murtaugh, adding that its has been a challenge to come up with a design because of all the Elks Tower’s windows.

Some of the murals will also draw on artists’ personal connections to Sacramento.

Brown grew up in Sacramento and went to Sacramento Charter High School before attending Humboldt State.

His mural will be in Oak Part at 34th Street and Third Avenue, Brown said, on the wall of a building where he once attended College Track, a nonprofit that provides low-income and underserved youths with guidance and support to help them graduate with a four-year degree. He has also been working for the organization since 2015.

“That kind of ties into what I’ll be creating,” Brown said.

Graffiti pop art is how Brown describes his work – but he adds that it also has a lot of abstraction, because much of what he depicts is very personal and spiritual, a way to connect to his ancestry and where he comes from.



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