On Sunday afternoon, the third day of the South Valley Artists’ Studio Tour, we headed to THE big town in Tulare County, Visalia, CA. Visalia is the first town established in Tulare County in 1852. One of the “studios” we visited exhibited in the location of Fort Visalia, forgotten except for a plaque to remind us that it existed. Ft. Visalia, built in 1860, protected the townspeople from raids from the Yokuts Indians whose land they occupied. It also made a statement in favor of California’s position supporting the Union in a town settled mostly by Confederate sympathizers. In more recent years Copeland Lumber Yard owned that prime property, but on this day artist Eric Gonzalez used it to display many works of spray artists from all over the state.
Erik has done a lot of work in Woodlake with the students, and we published an article about him for the “What’s Happening in the Foothills” magazine a couple of years ago, so it was great to meet him in person. Erik has a passion for youth. Here is a bit about him.
“As a professional graffiti artist, Erik has been successful in utilizing his work for alternative marketing that appeal to young generations. In addition to recreational painting, Erik is also passionate about delivering positive and meaningful messages to young people through his work such as, education, youth empowerment, risk behavior prevention, awareness, and more.
In recent years Erik has been working in partnership with groups such as Faces of Prevention www.facesofprevention.org and Youth Centers of America www.youthcentersofamerica.org, implementing vandalism prevention programs. He recruits students taking interest in contemporary media with an objective to identify graffiti/urban art as a contemporary art form and to expose his participants to the urban art career opportunities that exist in current advertising and design markets.”
Most of these paintings were done by other artists who work with him around the state. I think he and his students and colleagues are doing a great work changing the look of graffiti art.
My husband gravitated towards one of his son’s paintings, and thought I should write a children’s book about monster kids and use him as the artist. I told him monster kids are more up his alley. I would rather write about a Jungle Princess. 🙂
What do you think about the new look of graffiti? Do you prefer the monster kids who can’t control their urges to cause mischief or a jungle princess who charms snakes, gossips with the birds and rides a tiger?