Art

Epic ‘spray jam’ covers the walls of Vagrant Heart

By Rick Romancito
tempo@taosnews.com
Posted 8/22/19

The experience was epic. Just strolling around the buildings comprising the Vagrant Heart Gallery on Paseo del Cañón East as dozens of graffiti writers displayed their talents was breathtaking Saturday (Aug. 17) for the venue’s first Street Art Fair.

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Art

Epic ‘spray jam’ covers the walls of Vagrant Heart

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The experience was epic. Just strolling around the buildings comprising the Vagrant Heart gallery on Paseo del Cañón East as dozens of graffiti writers displayed their talents was breathtaking Saturday (Aug. 17) for the venue’s first Street Art Fair.

“We’ve got over 30 artists painting the walls, with some of them coming from as far away as Kansas City, Colorado, a lot from Texas and a lot from New Mexico as well,” lead artist Scripture of Taos said. “This is definitely the largest street art exhibition that Taos has ever seen.” The art was not only outside but a number of artists also showed their works on canvas inside as well.

The work we saw on Saturday was started Friday (Aug. 16), with some writers coming in “as early as Thursday,” Scripture said.

Prior to the event, he said, “All the buildings were painted out. We brought them all out and gave them a clean canvas to start with, which was a very painful process — they made me do it.” He laughed. “So, it’s all the way around each building, so we’ve opened up this whole [space] so you can walk around each building all the way around. And so each building, top to bottom, will be painted by the end of this event.”

To keep the graffiti writers in the mood, music was provided by The Vinyl Brothers DJs. “They’ve been running the hip-hop graffiti scene in New Mexico since before I knew how to hold a spray paint can. So, these are like local legends,” Scripture said.

A writer named Critic produced the show for Vagrant Heart. He’s with a group called the Creature Crew out of Albuquerque. “A lot of these are guys I’ve crewed with and while traveling to other ‘paint jams,’” he said. “It’s billed as an art show because of the exhibition inside, but because of the live art that’s what makes it a jam. Everybody here are people we’ve painted with before and some are close friends.”

Asked if any female writers were among the crews painting the Vagrant Heart walls, Critic said no, but a few were represented by their canvas art inside. Asked why there doesn’t seem to be more, he said, “Probably because hopping fences, running from cops and trying to climb out of tough terrain is a pretty physical act to do. But the females that do, hey, credit to ‘em because this is a tough, tough area of art for the female artist.”

Vagrant Heart is located at 216 Paseo del Cañón East, Taos. Call (575) 737-5112.

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