Breaking Free. | National Institute of Urban Art Presents “Uncontainable.”

In The Menu, Visual Arts by Audra Lambert

On Friday, June 9th the revolutionary new National Institute of Urban Art will open its first exhibit featuring artworks by Swoon, Logan Hicks, Revok, Invader, Brian Adam Douglas (/ELBOW- TOE), Shepard Fairey, RETNA, and more. This exhibition, “Uncontainable: Urban Art from Vandalism to Movement”, opens from 5 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. in partnership with the Thomas Center Galleries, 302 NE 6th Ave in Gainesville, FL. In addition to the dazzling large-scale woodcuts, screenprints, and canvas works on display the exhibition will also feature never-before-seen work by Michael Reeder and Juan Travieso.

With its roots in the anarchist vandalism “tags” in New York and Philly’s underground art scenes, urban art has evolved into a sophisticated movement. This meteoric rise is charted throughout the show, featuring simple tags largely by self-taught street artists seeking fame and exposure to the more complex stylings of artists working with wheatpaste and stencils to create more elaborate compositions. The show, curated by the Thomas Center Galleries’ Anne E. Gilroy, is made possible by loans from the collections of the National Institute’s Founder, Craig O’Neil, Charo O’Neil, Robert Meltser and Logan Hicks (“Bella Florchi”, Logan Hicks | Photo courtesy National Institute of Urban Art | work featured above).

“Say My Name, So You Can See Me” RETNA. | Photo courtesy National Institute of Urban Art.

On view through September 9, 2017, the exhibition is the first of the National Institute of Urban Art’s programming around the meteoric rise of street art as a global movement. As urban artists gain worldwide acclaim for their ground-breaking artistic practice, the Institute is conceived as the premier site for situating these artists within urbans arts’ commanding legacy, and is dedicated to providing exhibitions and programming for urban art enthusiasts.

The June 9th opening event features a screening of Saving Banksy, the 2017 Colin Day documentary featuring arguably the world’s most renowned urban artist, Banksy* (*the film is suited for adult audiences.). The Thomas Center galleries will also provide sign-up sheets for bus tours operating throughout the opening night, and all programming is free and open to the public. Don’t miss your chance to explore these formidable contemporary urban artists’ recent work brought together in a compelling and unique narrative!

“Spirit of the Forrest” Bezt. | Photo courtesy National Institute of Urban Art.

“Les Ballets De Faile”, FAILE. | Photo courtesy National Institute of Urban Art.

“Structures of Thought”, Chris Stain. | Photo courtesy National Institute of Urban Art.

Uncontainable: Urban Art from Vandalism to Movement
June 9, 2017 – September 9, 2017

Thomas Center
302 NE 6th Avenue, Gainesville, FL