ReturnA 10KM Gallery of Urban Art in Valencia Lined Up by Abstracte Festival
The first edition of the Abstracte Festival was held this month in Valencia, which invited abstract muralists from all over Spain to paint along the Turía Gardens.
Valencia is home to a unique feature of town planning. After the River Turia flooded in 1957, the waterway was rerouted away from urban areas, leaving a 10 kilometer riverbed which runs the length of the city. In 1986 it was transformed into an urban park, dedicated to leisure and nature and now, thanks to the Abstracte Festival, urban art.
A total of 12 murals were produced during the festival, the majority from 5th - 8th July. They are distributed along the the whole park, from the characteristic prisms of Sandra Betancourt by the Bioparc to Kaufman’s bold geometry in view of the Ciutat de les Arts I Ciències. Quite a distance on foot, but perfect to appreciate by bicycle – a concept which is central to the festival.
MTN News took the train down to Valencia to take in the artwork in progress and meet the Zedre Team, who organized the festival. They share their impressions of the first edition of the event below.
Could you tell us about the work that was produced during the festival?
Pedro Verdejo, Press and Logistics: The first edition of Abstracte, a riu d’art resulted in the production of 12 murals in the Jardí del Túria, one of the largest urban gardens in Europe and a top-class green space in Valencia. With the festival, we managed to combine art and nature, with 12 quality proposals, featuring profiles that come from street art as well as artists who had never before tried this type of work outside of their studio.
All the compositions are based on the concept of abstraction, each artist in their own style, from graffiti writing, primary colors, repetitive forms and even the introduction of glitch or virtual failure in the piece. From the range of excellent productions, we can’t highlight just one, but point to their overall effect.
Our congratulations and thanks to the artists: Sandra Betancort, Zurik, Álex Marco, Rubén Viard, AALL (Aaron Mr. Simon & Lluís Salvador), Capi Cabrera, Rubén Tortosa, Roice183, Nico Barrios, Murone, Ángel Toren and Kaufman.
How were the murals received in Valencia?
PV: After more than two years of preparation and postponements due to the pandemic, we always had the feeling that there was a lot of anticipation for Abstracte, a riu d'art. This was confirmed by the impact in the media, as well as the messages on social networks and from all the people who approached the walls while the work was being painted. Everything we’ve seen has been tremendously positive.
If at any time there were any doubts about the final results, we’ve been reassured through the warm reception and obvious delight from the public. It’s difficult to get the entire media to come out and praise the project, but that's the way it is. At street level, everyone we’ve spoken to were amazed by the initiative and the results.
Finally, in addition to the artists, our team and the volunteers, the support of a wide group of collaborators and sponsors was fundamental to the success of Abstracte. Not only for their contributions, but also for the encouragement and the constant support that we got. Without their commitment to the project from the beginning, none of this would have been possible.
You were in charge of looking the artists, among other tasks. What memories will you take from the festival?
Zanora Coperias, Coordinator: The memory that will stay with me on a human level was being able to spend a week together with all the people who made Abstracte possible. I think it was a great idea to have a headquarters where we could gather to eat every day and have a moment to share experiences and talk.
I was delighted to be able to meet and talk with each of the artists in person. In fact, that was something that I was especially able to enjoy during the interventions by Betanprismas and Zurik, as in their case, I spent the week at the wall with them and I was lucky enough to meet two wonderful people who I have a lot of affection for.
The participation of the volunteers was important, right?
Z: Of course, the volunteers were essential members of the team. As you know, the project was carried out by three people – Lluís, Pedro and I – and without the input of the volunteers during the week of the event, it would have been impossible to be able to give proper support to each of the artists at their walls. We were very fortunate to have such a committed, involved and proactive group. It was wonderful to work with them, we’re very happy and grateful.
After so much time of planning, with a pandemic in the middle, how would you rate the first edition of Abstracte?
Lluís Salvador, director and artist: Very positive. The group was fantastic: volunteers, artists, team, institutions and sponsors. We have filled one of the best places in Valencia with art and color. And with the experience from this edition, next year will be even better.
You had the opportunity to accompany Mayor Joan Ribó on a visit to the murals. Were you surprised by the involvement and interest of the Valencia City Council?
LS: Not at all. From the first moment the involvement of the city council has been very positive, the process has been long but the results are fantastic.
This festival is a cultural installation that will be visited throughout the year. When will the guided tours of the murals start?
LS: In September we’ll begin to offer guided experiences, both Abstracte and Valencia al mar, two routes that will promote nature, art and bicycles as elements of regeneration and dynamization of the city.
If the festival can be held again next year, what would you like to add to the production dates?
LS: In fact we are already working on a second edition. We have to assess dates but in summer we won’t do it again. The heat was too intense! We are lucky that Valencia has a pleasant temperature many months of the year.
Montana Colors was proud to collaborate with the first edition of the Abstracte Festival. If you make the trip to Valencia, make sure you consult the map of murals on the Zedre website.
Photos by Jorge Blay GarciaShareJuly 26, 2021