Photos courtesy of Ron English
After three years and 40+ murals under their belt, the L.I.S.A. Project continues its mission to energize the downtown visual landscape with the launch of the inaugural Lower Manhattan Art Festival. From August 5–9, street artists, painters, and graf writers will take over downtown Manhattan for the city’s first-ever all-mural festival.
Two dozen artists including heavyweight hitter Ron English, as well as Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, L’Amour Supreme, Beau Stanton, CASH4, gilf!, Invader, Solus, and ASVP will all be hitting walls and creating new public works. Ever mindful to be inclusive of all the creative narratives that are happening out in the streets, L.I.S.A. Project has curated a diverse array of artists, that are not only at varying intervals in their careers, but also rep a gamut of styles and techniques, from delinquent-to-the-bone writers to the socially conscious that wheatpaste.
“We conceived of this festival as a revitalization of the artistic energy of downtown Manhattan,” says LoMan Art Fest organizer and L.I.S.A Project founder Wayne Rada. “NYC is such a nexus for art, but these days so many artists are being pushed to the outer boroughs. Following the success of The L.I.S.A project, we wanted to create a larger public arts district and community of support worthy of the city’s thriving art scene.”
This past weekend, popagandist Ron English got up early ahead of the festival’s official kickoff. Despite the 95-degree weather, he had his Pink Temper Tot join her Green brother on the wall on Mulberry Street in Little Italy. The piece is a massive valentine to Ron’s kids Zephyr and Mars, and its location will serve as the central hub for the bulk of the Festival’s happenings.
For her wall at 8 Henry St. in Chinatown, gilf! has begun work on a new maze mural. Though she won’t exactly spill the beans as to what this piece’s optical illusion, hidden message will be, she did tell us she’s wanted to paint this specific phrase for a while and that it’s more on the tongue-and-cheek tip of the gentrification discussion.
When we caught up with CASH4 to see what he had in store for his wall at Delancey and Suffolk, he told us that he was ruminating on four different designs. Not surprisingly, he too was mum as to specifics, but our money is on a bad-ass signature CASH4 roller.
In total, the LoMan Art Festival will span 21 downtown neighborhoods, featuring large-scale works from 23rd Street to the South Street Seaport. Programming will also include panel discussions, screenings, a live graffiti battle, a zine sale, podcasts, the creation of a sculpture garden, and a closing-night concert to cap it all off.
We’ll def be hitting up:
On Thursday night, 8/6 (at 7 p.m.), there will be panel discussion at Jonathan Levine Gallery with Ron English, gilf!, Dan Witz, and Jonathan Levine moderated by Steven P. Harrington of Brooklyn Street Art.
Opening Friday 8/7, but running through Sunday, will be the festival’s sculpture garden in the “Ron English – Temper Tot Lot” at 114 Mulberry Street. Works by English, The DR¡F!, Sucklord, Leon Reid IV, Art is Trash, and Nicolas Holiber will all be on display, as well as the infamous 100-pound bust of Edward Snowden that illicitly appeared last spring in Fort Greene Park.
Saturday 8/8 from 1 p.m.–6 p.m. (still in the Temper Tot Lot) the good folks of indie publisher CarnageNYC will be hawking a killer collection of their limited-edition, graf-focused zines.
Once you’re done scooping up on all things Carnage, the gents of Secret Walls will curate a live action illustration battle from 5 p.m.–7 p.m. The challenge will pit OG writers CRASH and BIO and their crews against one another for a 90-minute battle fought out on 25-foot-high walls, armed solely with black markers or black acrylic paint.