"FROM THE IDEA TO THE WALL" Project. An open forum for debate and experiences in urban art
In April, as a result of the COVID-19 global health crisis and through conversations between members of the Pintuco Foundation and Montana Colors, the idea arose of creating a series of online events to invite artists and cultural managers from Colombia and Spain (as well as from other parts of the world) to share their experiences in urban art projects and muralism, as well as the views on the use of public space in contemporary artistic expression.
The Pintuco Foundation is a non-profit organization and coordinator of sustainable initiatives by the Orbis Group and Pintuco, Montana's official distributor in Colombia. Their focus is on designing, planning, and carrying out social investment programs for its companies, with a focus on habitat transformation through art and color. From all those videoconference conversations that we’ve been a part of all these past months due to confinement and the limitations on movement, and through a new initiative of the Foundation called "PUENTE" — which consists of promoting the sale and patronage of productions of works of art on canvas and other formats by urban artists — the idea arose to create these forums for conversation and debate that we named "FROM THE IDEA TO THE WALL," a phrase that summarizes the artist's creative process and the work involved in bringing ideas and projects to reality in the common space: the street.
We began this past July with a first discussion where some of the projects were examined, as well as the vision, values and philosophy of the Pintuco Foundation itself, headed by Miguel Ayala, Executive Director of the Foundation, and Wilmar Martinez, Project Manager, together with Albert Pons, Montana’s Area Manager for Latin America, together with Marc Mascort i Boix, Montana’s Cultural Manager.
Both brands share the fact that we are manufacturers and sellers of paint, but at the same time, we also share the passion for color and the promotion and support of art on the streets in all cities of the world. This fact was contrasted by seeing some of the projects, both big and small, that both companies have been involved in in recent years.
Topics such as co-branding and collaboration synergies with other brands were discussed, as well as other ideas related to urban art and mural festivals, urban and peripheral phenomena, and the impact that artistic production has on different settings, and the philanthropic action of MTN and Pintuco regarding social impact. After the initial launch, we offered a second online forum in the month of August. The second edition also had a large influx of participants and, in this case, the presence of two diverse groups from Barcelona and Medellín: on the Catalan side, Rebobinart headed by its director, Marc Garcia, and the artist Núria Toll, who were able to share their experiences regarding the role of the public institution in urban projects, on how to manage public spaces to democratize them and make them accessible to all kinds of people, and the role of women in the current art scene. On the Colombian side, 4ESKUELAS illustrated his perspective on the use of public space, focusing his point of view on the Hip Hop culture in Colombia. He also addressed how to enhance creativity and talent, how to best approach communities and interact with them using disciplines such as graffiti, breakdancing and music. In this session, we were able to see how two apparently polar opposites — who use different tools for their actions — come together conceptually in their objectives. This makes the path to artistic expression accessible to the maximum number of people in myriad ways, and promotes the talent of young people and enables accessible creative spaces.
A classic debate in graffiti, and street art in general, was also opened and touched on topics including: the limits of private property versus public space, the role of authority and of governments and public institutions, and of course, the inevitable presence of the police and fines, with all that entails the conflict and hardships graffiti artists and writers face.
In the month of September, we held another meeting, this time with the presence of two groups of great repute and whose leitmotiv is the idea of community art, with the direct involvement of residents and neighbors in the realization and production of murals of all kinds.
Boa Mistura, with Pablo Ferreiro, one of its four members, explained in detail the methodologies used by this famous Madrid contemporary art collective and showed us several of the projects he carried out in countries such as Mexico, Brazil and Colombia. The citizens of the very neighborhoods where he painted some of his famous murals were directly involved, and many were able to get their hands dirty, painting alongside him. This also helped to generate a democratic process within the communities that defines the works that they have been able to translate into small and large projects. Next up, we have the Mesa de Gráfica Urbana, a collective made up of Gráfica Mestiza from the Colombian city of Cali, where Jesús Rodríguez was able to show us also some of the projects he carried out in Colombia. He remarked how the creative process must give people a place to inhabit, so they must be direct accomplices of artistic production, and at the same time, use these projects at the pedagogical level in schools.
In the three sessions we’ve held so far, once the corresponding presentations by the groups and invited guests were complete, we allowed some time for open debate so that all those attending these online events could give their perspectives and opinions. They shared their experiences in managing and carrying out works in the street, anecdotes from painting graffiti and interacting with people who inhabit the cities, trips and experiences, as well as other points of view.
Between now and December we plan to finish the cycle with 3 more sessions.
ShareSeptember 29, 2020