Wide Open Walls. Where local artists play in the big league.

WIP for Trav-MSK – Wide Open Walls 2017 / Photo ©Nickie Robinson

After offering last year a big line-up of international stars such as Adnate, Angelina Christina, AskewOne, Caratoes, HowNosm, Jorit Agoch, Okuda, Phlgem, Tavar (aka Above) and many more, Sacramento’s Wide Open Walls Festival is once again, this year, focusing on Californian and local talent.
In a week, the second edition of the urban art festival Wide Open Walls (WOW for those in the know) will be held in Sacramento, California. The festival will once again welcome big names such as Shepard Fairey aka Obey, Herakut, Pixel Pancho and many more. But what distinguishes this festival is the fact that the event organizers focus on the artists made in USA, Californians and especially locals.
Out of the 42 invited artists, 31 are American, including 30 California based artists. (See the complete list at the end of this article). At the local level, as last year, about twenty artists will be at the “rendez-vous”, some for a second time to paint a collaboration.

Kinetik Ideas. Sacramento / Photo ©Nickie Robinson

“We believe it’s important to maintain ongoing relationships with local artists from prior years. It provides an opportunity for local artists to continue to be part of the festival and all off its activities and press, help mentor the 2018 artists, and provide ongoing feedback to us from the Sacramento artists’ community.” – Anna Sobon – Executive Director, Wide Open Walls.

The logistic of the artistic collaboration was entrusted to the artist Raphael Del Gado.

Raphael Del Gado – Wide Open Walls 2017 / Photo ©Nickie Robinson

“The word SACRAMENTO will have it individual letters painted by several Wide Open walls alumni’s artists. I will be coordinating and working along side some of the most notable and talented artists in the city to create a unique and welcoming addition to the city. “- Raphael Del Gado

Picture ©Raphael Del Gado

The artist Molly Devlin is happy to make a comeback this year by taking part in this production, which promises to be interesting by its diversity.

“I was invited this year to work collectively with some painters involved last year. I’m going to be condensing my style into fitting the letter ‘A.” – Molly Devlin

WIP – Molly Devlin – Wide Open Walls 2017 / Photo ©Nickie Robinson

The WOW therefore offers to the people of the Californian capital and also its visitors to discover the talent and passion of its creators. Local artists represent the cultural richness of a region or city. It’s a specificity to each and it’s what differentiates them from each other.

“Sacramento has amazing local artists and we will continue to showcase their talent. We believe it raises the profile of all of our local artists – whether a featured artist or not. “ – Anna Sobon

John Horton – Wide Open Walls 2017 / Photo ©Nickie Robinson

On the artists’ side, the festival represents a great opportunity to play in the big league and to be introduced, not only to their fellow citizens but also to street art lovers from all over the world. Do not underestimate the power of social media ! The festival is a golden opportunity to rapidly flood the web with their name and their works.

WIP – Maren Conrad – Wide Open Walls 2017 / Photo ©Nickie Robinson

” I was at WOW last year. It absolutely enhanced my career- Having a mural is like having a 24/7 social media backdrop. It’s a stage for anyone and everyone with a camera and thumbs.” Micah Crandall-Bear.

“My participation in the festival last year had an influence on my career. Some people they found me and contacted me through the WOW website or WOW list of artists.” – Jeremy Stanger

WIP – Brian Valenzuela – Wide Open Walls 2017 / Photo ©Nickie Robinson

For Raphael Del Gado, last year’s festival was a special moment filled with energy for the artists but also for the whole city.

” It was exciting to feel appreciated and cheered on while I was up on the scaffolding. Sacramento was truly a city wide live art performance of sorts and I felt it helped people connect with their local artists , their neighborhoods , and fellow neighbors.” – Raphael

WIP – Brian Valenzuela (details) – Wide Open Walls 2017 / Photo ©Nickie Robinson

” I see it as a chance to introduce new art and ideas into the city of Sacramento, as well as highlighting the talent and creative voices that are grown here. It’s exciting to meet other artists, it’s also inspiring to see your peers push

Micah Crandall-Bear – Wide Open Walls 2017 / Photo ©Nickie Robinson

themselves creatively being a part of it.” – Molly Devlin

Wide Open Wide has therefore accepted the challenge of making their festival a unique platform to showcase the talent of known and emerging Californian and local artists.
The future shall tell us if the approach will pay off and succeed in propelling the city of Sacramento to the rank of cities to be visited by street-art lovers of the world.

Wide Open Walls 2017 / Photo ©Nickie Robinson
Few and Far (Diety Meme & Ursula Young) – Wide Open Walls 2017 / Photo ©Nickie Robinson
Raphael Del Gado – Wide Open Walls 2017 / Photo ©Nickie Robinson

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