CANCELLED: “BLKOUT Walls” Largest Black-led Mural Festival In The U.S. (Oakland)
>> Want to see our Top Picks for this week instead?
All Over Downtown Oakland | Broadway & 14th St, Oakland, CA
Submitted by the Event Organizer
BLKOUT Walls, The Largest Black-led Mural Festival In The United States, Illuminates Downtown Oakland with Curated and Extraordinary, Larger Than Life Murals. Featured Artists Include Sydney G. James, Thomas “Detour” Evans, Max Sansing and Oakland local, Rachel Wolfe-Goldsmith
The ten-day, family friendly festival runs September 16 – 25, 2022 and is sponsored by returning partners, Vans and Niantic
Oakland, California – This summer, the second annual Black led/produced mural festival BLKOUT Walls, will reinvigorate the city streets of Downtown Oakland. World-renowned, global, national and local multi-cultural artists will amplify BIPOC voices by painting more than twenty breathtaking, one-of-a-kind, large-scale murals, measuring 20×20 feet and higher.
BLKOUT Walls was conceived by Sydney G. James of Detroit, Thomas “Detour” Evans of Denver, and Max Sansing of Chicago. The highly-successful inaugural festival kicked off in James’ hometown of Detroit, Michigan in August 2021 and brought 40 new murals to the North End community of Detroit. This festival was created as a direct response to the founders’ shared history of participating in inequitable mural festivals throughout the country. Each experiencing time and time again that these festivals occur without remuneration for the participating artists and most exhibit limited racial diversity among the artists represented. The trio set out to create an annual festival to offer diversity to the community and economic support to participating artists.
The festival is open to all and will include art installations throughout the community, live art illustration events, mural tours, engagement with local youth arts-based organizations, artist panel discussions, a Food Truck Block Party closing event, and Arts fundraiser. The BLKOUT Walls festival is part of the organizations ongoing initiative to help drive arts-based economic development by tapping into the creative economy of the Oakland community.
Guests will be invited to watch the creation journey, from beginning to end, of the these never-before-seen murals commissioned by artists Bakpak Durden, Birdcap, Detour, Dred Ske, Georgie Nakima, Ghostbeard, Ijania Cortez, Imagine, Kobie Solomon, Just, Marka27, Max Sansing, Problak, Phillip Simpson, Rahmaan Statik, Rick Williams, Sentrock, Sydney G. James, Tony Whlgn, Tylonn J. Sawyer and Wolfe-Pack (Rachel Wolfe-Goldsmith). The new art installations will be strategically placed throughout the community to magnify BIPOC stories and beautify the underutilized spaces throughout the city to encourage neighborhood walkability, and tourism to Oakland.
Insert Sydney Quote: “Oakland is the perfect location for BLKOUT Walls”, states Co-Founder Sydney G. James. “Much like Detroit, when a person visits Oakland, they experience a feeling of familiarity; similar visiting your favorite Aunt’s house or Grandma’s house where all of your cousins will be!”
Our fiduciary partner, the nationally renowned Detroit Area Pre-College Engineering Program (DAPCEP) has again generously agreed to support the BLKOUT Walls Mural Festival developing Youth programming for the festival. DAPCEP’s mission to prepare underrepresented youth for careers in STEM has expanded to include the arts (STEAM), and their participation in the BLKOUT Walls Mural Festival will ensure youth engagement and growth within the arts.
Vans and Niantic will also return as second-year corporate heroes to name a few.
Friday, September 16: Artist Arrivals | Artist & Sponsor Dinner | Press, Artist & VIP Mixer @Moxy Hotel
Saturday, September 17: First full day of mural painting
Sunday, September 18: Second full day of mural painting
Monday, September 19: Press Day | Third full day of painting
Tuesday, September 20: First Artist Panel Workshop @Oakstop | Fourth full day of painting
Wednesday, September 21: DAPCEP youth workshop | Fifth full day of painting
Thursday, September 22: DACPCEP youth workshop | Second Artist Panel @Oakstop | Sixth full day of painting.
Friday, September 22: Sponsor Preview Tours | DAPCEP youth workshop | Final day of painting | BLKOUT Art Battle @7th West
Saturday, September 24: BLKOUT Block Party 11am – 5pm | Sponsor/VIP Tours
Sunday, September 25: Artist Breakfast/Brunch | Festival concludes
About: Detroit Area Pre-College Engineering Program (DAPCEP)
Our Mission: To increase the number of underrepresented students who are motivated and prepared academically to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) related fields through K-12 supplemental educational programming.
Bio, Sydney G. James
Detroit-bred and based fine artist, muralist and 2017 Kresge Fellow Sydney G. James earned her BFA at the College for Creative Studies in 2001 and began her career as an Art Director in advertising. Sydney headed to Los Angeles in 2004, to expand her career as a visual artist in the film and television industry and earned her master’s degree in secondary education.
Returning to Detroit in 2011, Sydney has become one of the newest leading creative voices in southeast Michigan. Exploring themes of the racial and gender positioning of the black woman in America as “last” or “least among others” in society, has been the central theme in Sydney’s work recently. Her portraits and murals seek to reposition this narrative of the black woman’s visibility and importance bringing them to the forefront of the conversation. Influenced by the artists Barkley L. Hendricks, Hubert Massey, Jenny Saville and the Afri-COBRA collective, Sydney’s art expands figurative painting with bold brushwork, colors and imagery.
Sydney has displayed her art at MoCAD, Charles H. Wright Museum, M Contemporary Gallery, PlayGround Detroit Gallery, Collective Detroit Gallery, Detroit Artist Market, Red Bull House of Art, and Janice Charach galleries as well as the Arts, Beats and Lyrics traveling exhibit. She has completed public murals in Detroit, New Orleans, Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Accra, Ghana, Freetown, Sierra Leone, Kathmandu, Nepal and has painted in a multitude of mural festivals such as Murals in the Market (recognized by National Geographic as one of the world’s best mural festivals), Pow Wow Hawaii, Pow Wow Long Beach, Pow Wow Worcester, and Denver Crush Walls. Some of her most recent work has been as a branding agent partnering with Ford Motor Company, Pepsi Co, The Detroit Lions, Lip Bar Cosmetics and Vans. Sydney takes on each new project with the gusto and intention of one approaching a new adventure: excited, prepared and ready to engage.
Bio, Thomas (Detour303) Evans
Thomas Evans, a.k.a. Detour, is an all-around creative specializing in large scale public art, interactive visuals, portraiture, immersive spaces, and creative directing. His focus is to create work where art and innovation meet. A born collaborator and “military brat,” Detour pulls from every conceivable experience that shapes his landscapes and perspectives. Explaining Detour’s work is no easy task, as ongoing experimentations in visual art, music, and interactive technologies have his practice continually expanding. With his ever-evolving approach to art, Detour’s focus is on expanding customary views of creativity and challenging fine-art paradigms by mixing traditional mediums with new approaches—all the while opening up the creative process from that of a singular artist, to one that thrives on multi-layered collaboration and viewer participation.
Bio, Max Sansing
Max Sansing is a Chicago-based fine artist and one of the city’s most prolific and talented muralists. His distinct aesthetic fuses the color-drenched dynamism of street art with the technical elegance of photorealism. Born and raised on the South Side by two artistic parents, Sansing discovered his passion and creative gift at an early age. During his youth he was involved with several graffiti crews and taught himself oil painting before completing formal training at the American Academy of Art. In addition to his studio practice, Sansing is frequently commissioned to create large-scale murals and experiential installations across the country. He is deeply committed to supporting his Chicago community and is involved with numerous youth programs that expand arts opportunities in underserved areas. His work has been featured in gallery shows and special events in Chicago, New York, and Miami among others.
Monica M. Jaramillo, LABEL The Agency, 310.701.9714
Shave Savin, Shae Savin PR, 310.717.3474