Now Trending: Taking Back The Streets
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Perhaps inspired by Walk The City, an open-source platform to make, print, and distribute local walking signs, a handful of new projects are conspiring to hit the streets. Whether they go by foot, on wheels, through art, or with a good, old-fashioned app in hand, they all have a few important qualities in common: they're free, open to the public, and look like tons of fun. Check out a handful of our recent favorites, below.
Come with mom, dad, or your twelve best friends and that old boombox from middle school — the point is just come. The Great Atlanta Bicycle Parade is meant for everyone, as people descend on the streets of their city for a one day celebration of music, art, colors, and pedal-powered community magic. Creator Chantelle Rytter is eager to celebrate the thriving local cycling scene, and the event will offer free Bike Art workshops so that everybody can make sure their ride gets properly decked out. And did we mention that AM 1690's Bicycle Parade Show will be making an appearance?
Every day, thousands of people walk by the library on Cortelyou Road in the vibrant, community-orientated neighborhood of Ditmas Park in Brooklyn. The problem? The building's bare, brick exterior is nowhere near as inviting as the dynamic pubic institution it conceals. So resident/ambitious artist Kathryne Hall is hoping to dress up the drab wall with a colorful, graphic mural. "It is abstract," she explains in the project description. "But evokes falling leaves, children playing, floating flags or even a windswept piece of paper; all possibilities with no right answer." She'll accomplish the feat with help from local high schoolers, making this a true community effort from start to finish.
Northern Spark is a dusk-to-dawn Minneapolis-based arts festival that will fill the streets of the city with exhibitions, workshops, interactive art projects, and (naturally) really happy people. In celebration of the crowds, The Kuramoto Model will endeavor to distribute 1,000 interactive, blinking LED devices to attending bicyclists. The blinking lights are synchronized to each other so that, once in action, the darkened streets will come alive with the choreography of tiny, winking lights. Pretty enough to make a wish on, don't you think?
Oakland's monthly Art Murmur is a massive art festival that draws thousands of visitors to the tiny, vibrant neighborhood for a grand celebration of local art, good food, and cool people. As part of June's event, a group of enthusiastic art-makers have commissioned the wall of their down-the-street Beer Garden for an epic, character-filled, super colorful mural that will be highly visible (and highly enjoyable) to all passerby. They call it their "gift to the city" — and we suspect it's one that will keep on giving and giving.
AFUERA is a public art initiative based in Peru that will source a global arra of streets artists to paint public murals in some very unexpected places. The artists will live and work in the location of each mural, creating a symbiotic relationship in which location and artist creatively inform and inspired each other. This July will mark the inaugural edition, to be held in the remote mining community of Cerro de Pasco, high in the Peruvian Andes.
Interested in the overlap between public engagement and interactive art, PaperJAM have been creating open installations of solar-converted, touch-activated lights. Adhered to temporary sites along public walkways, each exhibit allows passerby to press the lights on and off at will, creating patterns of illumination that are unique, joyful, and shared with all — creating brief communities (and perhaps lasting connections!) amongst passing strangers.
ArtAround is a collaboratively produced smartphone app that will map all of the beautiful art in San Francisco that you won't necessarily find in a museum. Users are invited to find, comment on, and share works of public art — a process that will generate an ever growing, always dynamic index of unusual and unexpected creative work. Its creators call it the "insideout museum." Sounds right-side up to us!
The Pacifist Library is a nomadic public institution constructed from discarded and recycled materials, and meant to facilitate the reading and exchanging of radical, peaceful ideas. Built with movement in mind, the structure will migrate around New York City, offering a peaceful place for folks to hang out, read, and — with a little luck — change the world. Who's invited? Hopers, dreamers, and doers alike!
These projects aren't specific to any single category, but a cool place to keep browsing is Public Art.