streetsmART

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo/Unsplash

Acclaimed artists paint live at streetsmART slam

Hastings’ cavernous and atmospheric Observer Building is usually closed to the public, but this weekend Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 February, from 12 to 5pm, it opens its doors for a unique drop-in event.

streetsmART slam celebrates the world of graffiti and street art. Visitors can ‘Watch, Try, Learn and Buy’, with artist workshops, stencilling, spraying and rollering activities, exhibitions, stalls, films, DJ and food, plus live painting from top street artists, Joe Holbrook and Pablo Allison, who will be making new pieces of street art in the Alley behind the building over the weekend.

A highlight on Sunday is a workshop with international photographer and graffiti artist, Pablo Allison. Pablo’s current work documents the progress of migrant trains in Mexico and his workshop will focus on the experience of migrants approaching the US/Mexican border. Participants will discuss Pablo’s photographic work, painting the language of their discussion as graffiti on the Observer Building’s interior. The workshop highlights the role of graffiti and street art in raising awareness of injustice and inequality. Spaces are limited, so booking is advised. Tickets are £5 (also gives you entry to the rest of streetsmART throughout the weekend).

Other workshops from local artists include drawing workshops from Liz Emtage and Lucy Brennan and stencil workshops from Louise Whitham and Jane Runchman.

Home Ground Kitchen will be serving refreshments inside the Observer Building and also opening the doors of their premises in the alley for yummy Mexican food from 12-4pm.

As well as watching artists at work and taking part in activities, visitors can browse an exhibition of Hastings’ graffiti by local photographers, enjoy music from DJ Stan (Mad Radics Sound System) and buy art and other merchandise from stalls in the Observer Building. The stall holders will be Arts Digital, promoting the Alt Pitch Festival; Coastal Cocoa with their delicious handmade chocolates; and local artists Sassy Luke and Suzko.

Expect a wide and varied selection of the best in Roots Reggae, Dub, Steppas and occasionally Hip Hop and Jungle at certain events, all played out through an original hand built sound system by DJ Stan.

There will also be a competition, with a range of prizes, for people taking part in the workshops and painting events. The lucky winners will be notified within two weeks. The top eight winners will have their artwork displayed for two months on the hoarding outside the Observer Building, after which they can take it home.

Entry to streetsmART is just £1, with activities an additional £3 or £5. Participation in Pablo Allison’s workshop is £5. Films, talks and Q&A are free.

streetsmART is supported using public funding by Arts Council England and Hastings Borough Council and is presented in collaboration with Stella Dore Gallery, St Leonards and the Observer Building.

Saturday 22 Feb
12.00 – 17.00: Artists at Work – Pablo Allison and Joe Holbrook (Alley)
12.00: FILM – Graffiti Wars (47min, Observer Building)
12.30-14.30pm: WORKSHOPS – Drawing with artist Liz Emtage and stencils with artist Louise Whitham (Observer Building)
14.00 – 16.30: Spray painting on panels (Alley)
14.30 – 16:30: Freestyle painting, a chance to paint your stencils onto the wall, acrylics only (Observer Building)
14.30 – 16.00: FILM – Beautiful Losers (91min, Observer Building)
17.00: CLOSE

Sunday 23 Feb
12.00 – 16.00: Artists at Work – Pablo Allison and Joe Holbrook (Alley)
12.00: TALK – Artist Joe Holbrook talks about his work (Observer Building)
12.30 – 14.30: WORKSHOPS – Drawing with artist Lucy Brennan and stencils with artist Jane Runchman (Observer Building)
13.00 – 16.00: Spray painting on panels (Alley)
14.30 – 16.30: Freestyle painting, a chance to paint your stencils onto the wall, acrylics only (Observer Building)
14.30 – 16.00: WORKSHOP – With Pablo Allison (Observer Building)
16.00 – 16.45: Q&A with artists – Can I make money from street art? With Pablo Allison, Joe Holbrook and Steph Warren, of Stella Dore (Observer Building)
17.00: CLOSE

Photos (1.2,) by Cathy Teesdale, (3) by Unknown, (4) by Ali Jassim

Information on some of the artists

photo of Jon Pratty

Joe Holbrook is a young and hugely talented visual artist from Kent, self-taught in both painting and sculpture. He is fascinated by youth culture and the overwhelming lust for good times and enjoyment. He has exhibited his work in galleries across Denmark, Italy and the UK and is very much still at the beginning of his journey of artistic exploration.

photo of Jon Pratty

Pablo Allison was born in Manchester and grew up in Mexico City where he became interested in painting graffiti as a teenager in the mid 90s. He later returned to live in London where he continued to practice graffiti while studying for a degree in documentary photography.

He returned to Mexico in 2016 and began to paint large-scale walls based on socially aware themes. Recently he has been working on a long-term photographic project, following the migrant trail from Central America to the USA.

His work has been exhibited widely in the UK and Mexico, as well as in the United States and France specifically. Photographs by the artist have been published by The Huffington Post, National Geographic, TeleSur, Vice Magazine, El Pais and Juxtapoz to name a few. He currently lives and works in Latin America.

Mad Radics Sound System was founded in Southampton in 2016 and since then have been playing out around the South UK Region, both with their own Sound System hosting their own sessions and also alongside other sounds and artists such as Channel One, Mungos HiFi, Congo Natty, Headsessions, Creation Rebel and many more.

streetsmART is supported using public funding by Arts Council England and Hastings Borough Council and is presented in collaboration with Stella Dore Gallery, St Leonards and the Observer Building.

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