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Street Art and Social Change: Jeremy Novy

June is LGBT Pride Month. And in the upcoming days, the streets of San Francisco will be inundated with rainbow flags.  Since 1970, San Francisco has celebrated the queer community through its annual San Francisco Pride Parade. This year mark’s SF Pride’s 44th year and as always, it will be held during the last weekend of June.

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San Francisco has historically been a pioneering city for LBGTQ rights and continues to be a sanctuary for the queer community today. For these reasons, the city serves as the perfect canvas for artist Jeremy Novy’s work. Sprawled throughout the SoMA district, Novy’s work generally highlights the queer community.

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Based in San Francisco, Novy is one of the trailblazers of the queer street art scene. In a time where queer art hadn’t yet found prominence in the street art scene, Novy pushed to create a space for himself.  According to Novy’s website, “street art itself is a dominantly male heterosexual community; being out of the closet is not accepted.” He notes that in the beginning, many gay street artists’ were stolen or damaged and their works defaced. Despite these challenges, Novy has broken barriers through his street art and shows.

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In 2011, Novy curated the world’s first queer art street exhibit called “A History of Queer Street Art.” His intention with this project was to bring a voice to the queer art community. This project highlighted the queer communities struggles to find acceptance and displayed how they channeled it through their street art – from murals, public works, posters to stickers.  “A History of Queer Street Art” was revolutionary for its time and has set the stage for future queer artists to breakout.

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Novy’s chosen medium is stencilized street art. He utilizes a flour and wheat paste to overlay stenciled posters over abandoned or unused spots that need more life. As many as 2,000 of his stenciled koi fish can be found throughout the city, including commissioned pieces for the Yuerba Buena Arts Center. His other pieces include pop culture and bondage inspired art.

 

To learn more about Jeremy Novy, visit http://www.jeremynovystencils.com/

 

Street and Social Change: Ernest Zacharevic’s “Splash and Burn” Project

Splash and BurnErnest Zacharevic in Medan | Photo by Hype Media

Recently, Lithuanian artist, Ernest Zacharevic brought together a group of artists to begin a curated public works project on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. A play on “slash-and burn,” this project, titled “Splash and Burn” brings to light the problem of illegal palm oil harvesting in Indonesia. Over the course of two years, Zacharevic has gathered a group of creatives which include, Mark Jenkins, Axel Void, Pixel Pancho, Isaac Cordal, Strok, Gabriel Pitcher and Bibichun. Smane 2, Combat, and Reginal O’Niel have also contributed to the project.

splash-and-burn-street-art-campaign-indonesia-designboom-09 Isaac Cordal in North Sumatra | Photo by Isaac Cordal

Conflict palm oil harvesting is not only an environmental issue but a human rights violation due to its effects on transboundary haze, deforestation, and human and animal displacement.Indonesia happens to be the largest producer of palm oil. Facing the large consumer demand for palm oil and timber, the local economy resorts to the “slash-and-burn” to clear up large patches of forest land for palm oil plantations. Farmers first cut down vegetation and set a fire to quickly clear the rest. The World Wildlife Fund estimates that up to 300 football fields of forest are cleared every hour. Indonesia happens to be the largest producer of palm oil.This not only affects Indonesia but forests worldwide.

2splash-and-burn-street-art-campaign-indonesia-designboom-03Ernest Zacharevic in Bukit Lawang | Photo by Ernest Zacharevic

In regards to the environment, “Slash-and-burn” produces emits greenhouse gases, harms local vegetation, threatens biodiversity, destroys animal homes, and pollutes the water. The fires produce a thick smog that engulfs the air. The yellow toxic air has caused 6 Indonesian provinces to declare a state of emergency. To put it in perspective, anything above a 300 pollution index is considered hazardous. Areas of Indonesia can reach as high as 2,000 on the pollution index.

splash-and-burn-street-art-campaign-indonesia-designboom-05Mark Jenkins in Riau Peatlands | Photo by Ernest Zacharevic

Local communities are the first to feel these effects. Deforestation threatens the livelihood of farmers and locals outside of the palm oil industry. Many companies develop farms without the consideration of indigenous people who rely on or occupy the land. Rarely are these people compensated. Children as young as 7 years old can be found working for these companies to support their families. They are paid low wages for long hours and sometimes paid none at all. According to the NGO, Friends of the Earth, the palm oil industry is one of the top four worst industries of forced and child labor.

yessplash-and-burn-street-art-campaign-indonesia-designboom-02Ernest Zacharevic in Medan | Photo by Ernest Zacharevic

Zacherevic first became interested in the matter when clouds of smoke traveled from Indonesia to the location of his studio in Penang, Malaysia. Though the issue does receive some International attention, Zacherevic felt that the media needed to bring light to the outside of the burning seasons. Working with international as well as local Indonesian NGOs such as OIC, “Splash and Burn” creates a platform for an otherwise overlooked crisis. Over the course of two years, Zacherevic worked with these organizations to gather spaces for his curated group of artists to tell a story about the issue. Ranging from murals to installations to sculptures, each piece highlights a different victim of the issue.

YAS        Isaac Cordal in North Sumatra | Photo by Isaac Cordal

Ultimately, Zacherevic’s desire for “Slash and Burn” is to educate worldwide consumers on the direct connection they have with this corrupt industry. From food to cosmetics, palm oil can be found in countless products. Consciously buying products derived from conflict-free palm oil can drive down the consumer demand and make a bold statement about popular palm oil farming practices.

More info about Zacherevic and “Splash and Burn” can be found at:

www.ernestzacharevic.com

To learn more about the illegal palm oil industry and what you can do to stop it, head to:
saynotopalmoil.com

Support the displaced Orangutans:                                   orangutancentre.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nature meet City by 1AM muralists

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Camping has always been a great escape from urban living and when Campsyte tasked us with bringing the redwoods to downtown San Francisco, we were compelled to appease mother nature.

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As part of San Francisco’s first outdoor co-working and event space Outcamp, we created a mural as a background encompassing the space to evoke the feeling of nature and being one with the elements.  Campsyte’s vision of a shared backyard leans on the studies that environments in nature reduce stress.

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For more info, contact murals@1amsf.com

 

Street Art & Social Change: Lorenzo Quinn shows “Support” in Venice

With the state of the environment, many historic cities are facing the threat of rising sea levels.  In reaction, Italian sculptor Lorenzo Quinn highlighted this issue by unveiling his latest installation at Venice’s annual art installation, Venice Biennale 2017.

 

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Entitled, Support, the sculpture depicts two hands rising out of Venice’s Grand Canal toward the Sagredo Hotel. The hands reflect the two conflicting sides of human nature – the creative and the destructive.  Support highlights the idea that humans have the direct ability to impact the course of history and the environment. We could destroy the world, however, it is up to us save it.

Quinn aims to highlight climate change and the rising sea levels that could affect Venice along with the rest of the world.  Significantly Venice, a floating city, faces the direct effects of rising sea levels. With his piece, he encourages the world to act now in order to reverse the impact we’ve had on the environment. 

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Quinn draws inspiration from his own children. In an interview with Mashable, Quinn says “I have three children, and I’m thinking about their generation and what world we’re going to pass on to them. I’m worried, I’m very worried.” In fact, the hands themselves are molded after his son’s. Using a method known as “lost wax casting” he created a wax model of the sculpture and molded resin around it. Underwater, four 30 foot pillars hold the hands in place.

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Lorenzo Quinn intends to showcase “Support” as a rotating installation, with plans to bring the hands to other UNESCO World Heritage sites also facing destruction due to climate change.

More of Lorenzo Quinn’s work can be found at https://www.lorenzoquinn.com/

“Hope for the Future Gives Power to the Present” 1AM Mural

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While our mural artists often come from community input and careful thought with a predetermined wall, this particular mural’s message was in hand prior to having a wall to paint it.  When the opportunity arose to be part of the mural festival, SprayView (located in the SF Bayview district),  I knew I had found the right home.  So where did this mural’s message come from?

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For those of you that attended Lick Wilmerding High School, Coach Elliot Smith should be no stranger to you and was a major influence on me.  I’ll just share one example I’ll never forget of his positivity and wisdom.   Right after going through jv basketball team tryouts and getting cut, I was upset and went to Coach Smith to explain (aka angrily vent) that I felt I deserved to be on the team and was upset that Coach Mack (jv basketball coach) didn’t see my best performance.  Coach Smith’s advice was to go to the first day of practice and tell Coach Mack how I felt and prove to him that I deserved to be on the team.  I wanted to be on the team so badly that the hunger overcame my incredible fear of embarrassment of coming to the first day of practice after being cut and asking for another shot.  Coach Mack did end of giving me a shot to prove myself and I’ll never forget his words “You’ve shown tremendous heart, courage, and hustle in coming back that you deserve to be on the team”.

When I reconnected with Coach Smith last year, he remarkably remembered me and I asked him if he could say anything to the world, what would it be?  Thanks Coach for giving me hope to take action in the present.

For more info, contact murals@1amsf.com

Behind the scenes of “Everyone Deserves a Home” community mural

“Everyone Deserves a Home” is a testament to the community of the Tenderloin and a promise of hope and security. We wanted to share some behind the 1AM scenes shots of this epic street art mural.   This mural, overlooking the recently revamped Boedekker Park, brings new life and vibrancy to the Tenderloin community. This project was made possible and in collaboration with DISH, Friends of Boeddeker Park, and the Community Challenge Grant Program by SF Beautiful.  For more info, contact murals@1amsf.com

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Original Sketch

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This Week’s Dranks and Draws “G O D S”

Dranks and Draws
” G O D S “
featuring Muse Teak (@freethabeast)
Saturday, March 25th, 2017
3-7pm 18+
1 AM Generator (1523 B Webster Street, Oakland, CA)

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1AM Generator is pleased to join Hella Massive in hosting the monthly ‘Dranks and Draws’ sketch night this Saturday, March 25th, from 3-7pm at our Downtown Oakland Generator Space. As platforms for freedom of speech through artistic expression, both of our organizations aim to bring together and provide a positive space for the Bay Area’s creative community to collaborate and generate! For our upcoming Dranks and Draws, we feature Teak (@freethabeast) as our muse for the concept ” G O D S “. Come join us as we welcome the community to interact with and explore creativity over exclusive, speciality cocktails amongst like-minded individuals.

Dranks and Draws is a community gathering sketch event for artists and non-artists alike. Featuring a live muse with a fresh concept and sounds curated by resident DJ Trackademicks, it is a modern twist to the traditional figure drawing done in art class. Each individually designed, every installment offers a unique experience (ambiance and aesthetic) for every patron, every time.

The series is a collaboration with some of the Bay Area’s leading cultural forces including lifestyle boutique/barbershop/art gallery Massive, art collective Haus of Godspeed, Events Producer Computrblu and lifestyle brand Dreamers Rule. The seven curators come together to present a new experience for Oakland’s network of creatives, inspiring collaborative artistic expression everywhere.

“We view art as a form of therapy, so we want our patrons to leave feeling better than they came in,” says Massive co-owner and event co-creator Kevin Correa.

Sounds curated by Trackademicks

Find us on Facebook and Instagram
@dranksanddraws
@1amsf
#TheOriginalDranksandDraws

Tidewater Offsite Team-Building Workshop

We at 1AM worked an offsite team-building workshop with Tidewater, where they learned from our teachers about tagging and spray painting, and created their own mural on a canvas. Team-building workshops are an excellent opportunity to have fun as a group, and they can be held at our 1AM Gallery site, or we can come to your own venue!

To learn more about Team Building Workshops and Private Classes please contact vanessa@1amsf.com

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Street Art & Social Change: Za’atari Art Project

As the Syrian Refugee Crisis continues on, the Za’atari refugee camp in Northern Jordan has become the second largest refugee camp in the world. Founded in July 2012, the camp grew rapidly and has since reached nearly 100,000 inhabitants. While the camp is often referred to as a ‘refugee metropolis,’ the site is unmistakably destitute for such a large community. Food and proper accommodation are just two of the many human needs that the refugees are struggling to fulfill; others include constructive and productive activities for the youth. As education is not and cannot be a priority during times of strife, the children in Za’atari are faced with a bleak existence.

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US artist Joel Bergners recognized this need for community building activities that would provide positive experiences in the lives of the Syrian youth, and began the Za’atari Art Project in collaboration with several Middle Eastern artists, including Yusra Ali and Ali Kiwan. In this initiative, children participate in workshops that teach them artistic techniques and social skills simultaneously as they create murals for the camp walls. Yusra Ali is a female Palestinian artist who lives in a nearby town, who combines her artistic talent with her affinity for working with children. Kiwan is a Za’atari resident who collaborated with Bergners on many murals, joining street art techniques, children art styles, and traditional arabesque patterns to reflect the unique perspectives of the camp’s youth.

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The mural project provides children in the camp with an outlet through which they can express themselves, while also building relationships and learning important skills for life and art alike. Mural themes have included what the children missed most about home, what they dream of for the future, as well as the uplifting reminder that the future is in their hands. One demographic of the camp youth includes the “wheelbarrow boys,” young boys who bring items across campgrounds and sell them on the black market, a very dangerous employment for children. The art initiative taught the boys to paint, and allowed them to paint their wheelbarrows in vibrant, joyous hues, and the boys responded very well.

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As a communal entity, the children and artists have created a vibrant, uplifting visual culture within the Za’atari camp, providing a source of life and energy against the dreary background of the Jordan deserts. Many of these refugees would appreciate this, as they were forced to flee their lush, green oasis of Daraa in the midst of the Syrian Civil War. The Za’atari project provides a voice to the refugee youth, who are often overlooked in the crisis. Without a decisive ceasefire in sight, and with so many struggles plaguing the refugees internationally, these murals function as a source of community and hope for the camp inhabitants.

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Team-Building Workshop with Uber!

It was fun to have Uber join us for a graffiti workshop last month. They learned about the history of graffiti and spent the afternoon creating a group mural on our 6th St. exterior wall. Check out their awesome mural!

To learn more about Team Building Workshops and Private Classes please contact vanessa@1amsf.com

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