Two years later, what began as a conference on street art and urbanism — founded by Monica Campana (who was featured among CL's 20 People to Watch in 2012) and Blacki Li Rudi Migliozzi — is a much larger operation. In 2012, Living Walls expanded its outreach to include year-round programming such as artist lectures, workshops, gallery exhibitions, and mural series. And while the annual conference itself is still its cornerstone, Living Walls now functions as a nonprofit organization seeking to bring together street artists, academics and the public at large to activate and engage communities.
In anticipation of this year's conference, a handful of Decatur restaurants have pledged their support for Living Walls. During this Saturday's Living Walls Loves Decatur event, a portion of bar proceeds from Iberian Pig, Colbeh Persian Kitchen, and Parker's on Ponce will go to Living Walls. And in an attempt to dispel the "starving artist" cliché (at least while said artists are in Atlanta) Square Pub will be donating gift certificates to Living Walls, while Brick Store Pub is offering a meal to all of the Living Walls artists who are coming to town. (If you're interested in feeding this year's out of town conference participants, contact email@example.com).
Brick Store Pub general manager Todd Dimatteo is a passionate advocate of local art. "People should support art period," says Dimatteo, "whether it's Living Walls, or a child's drawing on your fridge. Be imaginative, let the right side of your brain drive from time to time."
CL caught up with Dimatteo to learn more about why he, the Brick Store, and Leon's Full Service <3 Living Walls.
How did you hear about Living Walls?
I just recently moved from downtown Atlanta where I lived at Gordon Lofts. There I met Roa; the Living Walls artist who painted the "crocodile mural" right outside my loft on the corner of Mitchell St. and Forsyth. He was very passionate about his work.
Why are you supporting Living Walls this year?
Brick Store and Leon's support community and art, and we view this as a way to celebrate both.
Some people think street art is vandalism and a source of neighborhood eyesores, what are your thoughts on street art?
I believe that art is art wherever it may be found. Street art breaks the condition that art doesn't have to be "hung in a gallery" to be viewed as having worth, that we can walk right up to our city walls and see fine art for free.
Do you have a favorite mural around town right now?
Well, I'm fond of Roa's "Crocodile."
To "I mean really": As the girl who held the 'keys' to his cuffs, I…
Wesley why do you keep following me? Stop conspiring against me!
Pee breaks allowed for a chain-in?
jr, why are u talking?
He's protesting because Aurora has been a community "place" for years. Its a gathering place…
While protesting on behalf of Aurora, he was robbed by 3 men with a silver…