Stavanger – NuArt 2016 has officially kicked off
Street Art Europe is present at this years NuArt Festival in Stavanger. We keep you updated via the website and social media from 8th-11th September. Top image is by Fintan Magee – Nuart 2016.
When you go to Stavanger for the annual NuArt Festival it already starts at the airport. Upon landing the first artwork you see is the one that M-City created on the control tower in 2013. As soon as you leave the aiport to catch the bus to Stavanger, you will bump into Martin Whatson’s mural. This shows that NuArt is not just another street art festival, it is promoted and recognized by the city of Stavanger. Throughout the years the festival has grown into an internationally known festival, that attracts many international visitors each year.
It is not that difficult to miss any of the artworks. When walking from the bus to my appartement, I keep passing by artworks that have been created for NuArt in the past years, and even a few from this year. Stavanger is quite a small town. You can easily walk from A to B and in the mean time see a lot of art. Around the corner of my appartment is an artwork by Martin Whatson and an old one by Evol. Evol is present at this years NuArt and most of his 2016 artworks can be found on small electricity houses in the city centre.
Visiting NuArt’s main venue
NuArt’s main venue is Tou Scene in the Eastern part of town. This is where the main exhibition is taking place, which is opening on Saturday 10th September. It is where you will find quite a lot of street art, big or small. It was a treat to finally see a Bordalo II artwork, instead of just online photography of his pieces of garbage art. Some artists who have been part of NuArt in the past have left their smaller artworks on and around Tou Scene. Artists such as C215, Icy & Sot, Ella & Pitr, Isaac Cordal and very small one by Martin Whatson.
I can’t show you any photos yet of this year NuArt exhibition. From what I have seen so far, it’ll be amazing. The artists have been allocated a room in a building that used to be a brewery. It is not just an exhibition with art on canvas, it is an experience. I can’t wait to see the exhibition when all artists have obviously completed their part.
NuArt Plus – a daily program with talks, debats, and more
NuArt is not just about artists creating a new mural artwork, there is something to do every day. The program for the first day started with the opening of the new Aftenblad Wall close to Tou Scene. Aftenblad is a daily newspaper in Stavanger. The Aftenblad Wall is a partnership between NuArt and Aftenblad. The wall is being repainted by a new artist a few times a year. Politcal art duo Kennardphillipps (Peter Kennard and Cat Phillipps) are the latest artist to take over the wall. It is an image of a 50.000 Monopoly note, which has capitalism as a main message. The wall was opened with a short talk by Aftenblad Editor Tarald Aano and art critic Carlo McCormick had an interview with the artists.
In the evening I headed, together with Giulia Blocal and Mark from Hookedblog, to the opening of Jeff Gillette’s Dismayland Nord exhibition at the Nuart Gallery. His works have a lot irony as well as a playful dimension to art historical relationships. Some elements in the show are influenced by his Banksy Dismaland participation last year. The artist himself was present and the opening. You could not have missed this friendly guy, as he was wearing Mickey Mouse ears. The opening was packed with locals, international visitors and artists.
Debating about Post-Street Art
Every year NuArt kicks off with the annual Fight Club debat. It was established 4 years ago to introduce difficult topics in a friendly pub atmosphere. Two teams led by Evan Pricco (Founder & Editor-in-chief, Juxtapoz) and art critic Carlo McCormick argued about the term ‘Post-Street Art’. Is it a term we should now be using to describe the developments that street art has made in the past years? I have been to debats before, this one really was so much fun to watch. Of course, every teammember had its own opinion and point of view, but there was also a lot of laughter. There was even some audience participation. Someone in the audience yelled that is ART. Artists such as Jaune and Fintan Magee don’t really use a term to describe what they are doing. Overall I found this debat a fun start of NuArt, no matter what the outcome is.