ST. LOUIS, Feb. 14, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- St. Louis resident and wellness visionary Michael G. Tompkins is pleased to introduce on Valentine's Day the inaugural St.ART Street Art Festival in St. Louis, Missouri Sept. 30 and Oct 1. The goal of the 2-day festival is to encourage hope, healing and positive dialogue through art—including large canvas painting, poetry, performance art, and "yarn bombing" trees. During the weekend, a group of inspired local and renowned street artists will convey the emotions of the underprivileged and silenced in the community on large canvases and through spoken word, in the city of St. Louis.
"The divide in St. Louis between those that have and those that have not is undeniable. Not unlike the iconic St. Louis Arch, art has an ability to bridge the divide. Art brings various opinions together in a way where all opinions are valid. There is no black and white; right or wrong," says Tompkins. The artists begin the dialogue by conveying the voice and frustration of the people on the first day, then express their vision of our new community on day two. The festival will be interactive with the audience, using yarn bombing on trees for the observers to leave their own personal messages of frustration and hope.
While the first day will be held in Fairgrounds Park, day two will be held at Langenberg Field in Forest Park. Both days are complementary and open to the public from 10am-8pm. Street artists signed on include Basil Kincaid, Cbabi Bayoc, Fnnch, Peat Eyez Wollaeger, Kidlew and Stephen "YARNbomber" Duneier. Poets include Pacia Anderson, and Richard Blanco. Blanco, who was selected by President Barack Obama in 2012 to serve as the fifth inaugural poet in U.S. history (joining the ranks of Robert Frost and Maya Angelou), will open and close the festival.
Artists and donors were quick to embrace Tompkins' vision to use street art to start a dialogue between diverse groups in St. Louis. A recent transplant to St. Louis, Tompkins came up with the idea for St.ART after witnessing amazing street art following the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson.
Day one of St.ART, the canvases will be painted in black and white. The TRUTH of the hopelessness, the desperation of not feeling heard, and the hardships found in our inner city neighborhoods. Day two the theme is: "Hope has color." In one of the brightest areas that our city celebrates, those same artists will paint in color, their vision of our new community.
"The incident in Ferguson changed me from having rose colored glasses about St. Louis, to becoming aware of the distinct socioeconomic and racial divide, which has been palpable to both the black and white populations in our community for decades," said Tompkins. "When I saw messages of frustration and despair, as well as messages of hope displayed, it spurred me take action. Large scale art has always had an ability to convey emotion on a much grander scale—the impact is so much bigger. Street art speaks a universal language and by allowing the artwork to stand on its own it takes away the ego of judgement."
The proceeds of the canvas sales will fund resiliency programs for the inner city and public service sector. To date, St.ART has already raised individual donations totaling more than 55 percent of our event budget—nearly all of the donors outside the city of St. Louis.
About St.Art St.Louis
St.ART is an innovative festival with a shared vision to open a dialogue. The goal of the 2-day street art festival is to encourage hope, healing and positive dialogue through art—including large canvas painting, poetry, performance art, and "yarn bombing" trees. During the weekend, of Sept. 30-Oct 1, a group of inspired and renowned street artists will convey the emotions of the underprivileged and silenced in the city of St. Louis. Tax deductible contributions can be made online at www.Generosity.com search term St.ART or visit http://st-artstlouis.org/.
Nancy Griffin (415) 987-0012
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SOURCE St.ART St. Louis