Street smART is an event from local arts producer MSL which lets practising and would-be artists and the general public watch, learn, try and buy street art. 

New works will be painted in Gotham Alley (behind Claremont and the Trinity Triangle) by internationally acclaimed street artists, Pablo Allison and Joe Holbrook, with opportunities for people to watch the work develop. MSL will be inviting other local artists to join and be mentored by the headliners via an open application process. Interested observers will also be able to take part in workshops, get coaching and hone their own street art skills. 

PICTURE: Clem Onojeghuo/Unsplash

Local photographers, John Cole and Cathy Teesdale, will document the project and create a gallery of photographs as new work develops, as well as capturing the many pieces of quality street art that already adorn the Alley. Street smART Slam takes place on Saturday 22nd February and Sunday 23rd February between 12 noon and 5pm in the Observer Building and Gotham Alley. There will be food, artworks and clothes to buy, an exhibition of work and films, plus an auction of works created over the two days on Sunday afternoon. 

Street smART is curated by Stephanie Warren who runs Stella Dore, a Street and Contemporary Art Gallery in Norman Road. She says :“street smART is so exciting. It celebrates artists who work in often challenging situations, transforming drab or featureless surfaces with beautiful, thought-provoking art.”

Images of the works and photographs will be available digitally on MSL’s Interactive Map, which presents cultural information about the America Ground. Margaret Sheehy of MSL hopes the project will create interest in a frequently overlooked area, saying “We want to inspire people to look more closely at the places around them and hope this project will help people discover the fascinating history that lies beneath the surface of the America Ground.”

Spring 2020 will also see UK writer, composer and producer Chris Thorpe-Tracey take up an artist residency at the America Ground. From January until Easter, Chris will be exploring the colourful characters, dark incidents and fractious town politics of the 1800s; a dramatic period in the area’s rich history.

Chris Thorpe-Tracey in Gotham Alley

Chris Thorpe-Tracey will tap into the collections at Hastings Museum and Art Gallery, as well as local archives and the musical memory of the community, to develop stories from the America Ground’s bricks and mortar, transforming them into digital and real-life musical experiences.

Jon Snow (Channel 4, not Game of Thrones) has described Chris as “One of the great underground artists of our time.”

Street smART Slam takes place on Saturday 22nd February and Sunday 23rd February between 12 noon and 5pm in the Observer Building and Gotham Alley


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