Baltimore-based artist Gaia just painted a new mural in Gainesville for the Grove Street Neighborhood, a community project that aims to beautify and revitalize the historic city of Gainesville, Florida.
ABOUT THE MURAL
Gaia was invited to paint in virtual reality for Changeville: Gainesville’s Social Change Festival. Once there, he accept the opportunity, given by the Grove Street Neighborhood, to create also a mural.
Titled “Poetics”, the Gaia’s new piece depicts the portraits of two people: the famous beat poet Jack Kerouac (whose works have been part of an annual reading at Dreamers Garden in the Grove Street Neighborhood since 2002) and Wilhelmina Johnson, prominent educator in Gainesville and civil rights activist. This way the Grove Street Community Garden want to celebrate both literary and African american history.
The portraits of the personalities emerge from petals of colorful flowers and leaves that form together the link between the two figures.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Gaia grew up in New York City and is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, Maryland. His studio work, installations and gallery projects have been exhibited throughout the world and gained significant international recognition and critical acclaim.
Over the past several years Gaia directed his art towards social issues like climate change, environmental degradation, urban blight and gentrification. His works, in addition to historical, cultural and social references, often contain connections with the neighborhoods where he creates. Gainesville is an example of this trend.
ABOUT THE GROVE STREET NEIGHBORHOOD MURALS PROJECT
The Grove Street Neighborhood Murals Project is a community project that aims to beautify and revitalize the historic, inner city Grove Street Neighborhood in Gainesville, Florida. Founded by award winners and community activists Iryna Kanishcheva and Maria Huff Edwards. The project is curated by Iryna Kanishcheva, coordinated by the neighborhood leader Maria Huff Edwards, with the help of volunteers and neighborhood supporters. The Grove Street Neighborhood sees murals as an artistic tool towards its further stabilization, beautification, and restoration.
images by Iryna Kanishcheva