Saturday, August 30, 2008

The weekender: community mosaics

A hot tip sent me traveling up to the north side of the city this afternoon to check out the Troy Community Gardens, a sprawling, beautiful example of urban agriculture. There were dozens of plots filled with vegetables, a few chickens, some interesting structures, and all sorts of other good stuff.

There were also--and this is how this is relevant to this blog--several examples of mosaic work, both on posts and tiles decorating one edge of the garden. I'm not entirely sure who created the work, but it adds some lovely, somewhat whimsical color to the setting (which is, to be fair, already quite colorful on its own). I'm honestly a little ashamed to say I'd never been to the gardens before, especially since they've apparently been there for a couple of decades now. There seem to be some public trails that wind through the area, so it's definitely worth a short hike and looksee if you happen to find yourself in the area.

Two of my favorite things in one place: community, urban agriculture and cool art.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Obey! Consume!

Angela Richardson took this shot of a couple of small stencils outside of the Infoshop on Williamson St. about three years ago. I haven't seen many of the "Obey" stencils lately, so that time line makes sense.

Begun back in the long dark past of 1986, the "Andre the Giant Has A Posse" street art campaign as since evolved into what you see above. It's an interesting study in how underground messages spread, and it's definitely worth clicking that link to read more about. Andre's mug, in the form of the "Obey Giant", can be found all around the world even to this day. That's one long-lasting stencil/sticker campaign.

Worth noting, too, is the jolly little Santa Claus urging us all to "Consume", which I think is a nice accompaniment for the Obey stencil. Certainly "obey" and "consume" are two directives we all get behind every day, right?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Moose head stencil

[Moose head]
Originally uploaded by david drexler
David Drexler sends us this photo of an excellent, four-color stencil piece in the Mansion Hill area of Madison. Bigger, more complicated stencils like this one don't seem to be terribly common in this city, so it's cool to see one like it. Anyone know anything more about it?

Be sure to check out the rest of David's collection of street art photos at his Flickr stream.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Solve Lives

Solve Lives

This really well-done piece is currently up on the Mother Fools graffiti wall on Williamson St. Created by Ben Bauman in tribute to fellow artist Brendan "Solve" Scanlon (who was recently killed in Chicago), you can read more about it over at The Daily Page.

I'm a big fan of the graffiti wall, and wish more businesses would offer such a space to local artists. I realize it's also difficult to get permission from the city to do it, and I'd love to see that change as well. Not only does it give artists a legal palette on which to do their thing, but it also, in my opinion, helps beautify neighborhoods. I'd much rather see something colorful like this than a plain brick wall. I know lots of cities around the world have projects like this, but I think Madison could use a few more.

UPDATED TO ADD: Solve's Flickr stream.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Support your local artists

Support Local Artists

I figure a mural is a good way to kick off this blog all proper-like, especially one with a message like this. Gracing the side of the building housing Tranquil Tattoos (1900 E Washington Ave.) and OK Beauty Supplies, it went up shortly after the tattoo folks moved in. I can only assume one or more of the artists that work there created it, though I took the photo when it was closed so couldn't ask. If you happen to know the names of the artists or any other info about the mural, please let me know in the comments section.

UPDATE: The artist responsible for this fine work of art is Zach Bartel. Check out his website here.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Well hello there

Welcome to the Madison Street Art blog! We're just getting set up, but please stop back again soon! We promise to get things rolling in just a few days here, and if you should have any photos of or tips about interesting street art in and around the Madison, Wisconsin area, please give us a shout about it at

Thanks, and keep looking!