Over the past week, the SAMA team had the opportunity to visit 3 organisations which contribute to #StreetArt in different ways. From that, we had the idea of writing an article about our 3 visits, but also on how important it is to have a strong sense of community.
The community we nurture and grow to be the bedrock of our support is necessary, not speaking specifically about these particular times, but also to push this art form forward to the place we believe it belongs. It is for this reason we should continue to develop and maintain relationships and build our community to project a louder voice as a united front. This should not be mistaken for individuals following and sharing one point of view or ideology. On the contrary; differing opinions, constructive criticism and varied perspectives, is the way to grow in a confident manner not in ourselves, but as an art form.
After the finish of the Urban Art Oase, workshop 4, the team was invited out by #TeamBlazin to experience a change of scenery at the #Mainville art collective in Hoofddorp. A request which the team were all too excited to jump on. This is because SAMA hadn't been since the opening last September, at which point corona restrictions were loosened. For half of the expedition party this trip was a first and were curious as to what they were walking into. For the other half, the feelings felt more closely tied to a long-awaited reunion.
For those who haven't had the opportunity and pleasure to go yet, we highly recommend reaching out and trying to set something up. Their spot is a converted industrial complex with each room serving different functions as well as being unique to one another. The artworks and tags, contributions from artists within the collective and those visiting, cover practically every open space the eye can see, making it truly an independent and unique space.
On April fools, the boys of SAMA visited the famous OD Gallery in Singel, an artistic space that for years has been promoting and spreading the work of street artists from across Europe within the closed circuit of art galleries. The meeting with #SAMA and #ODGallery allowed the guys to deliver the freshly printed museum catalog of the exhibition #MagicDozen. This provided a chance to converse and gather some insight into the state of affairs and different possible projects we at SAMA and at OD will hopefully be able to undertake.
Since March 24, the OD Gallery has inaugurated the exhibition "Come Together", a collective project that brings together some of the most popular urban names, including but limited to: Pipsqueak was here!!!, Collin van der Sluijs, Alex Senna, Ottograph, Bortusk Leer, Tattoo Rupa, Jens Mohr and Ador among many others.
In the atmospheric gallery space, located opposite to the historic Beulinsloot canal off Singel, the guys had a chance to converse with the gallery manager who explained to them the ultimate meaning behind this exhibition. In a difficult time for everyone, culture and art are among the sectors most affected by the crisis, unable to move forward due to the many restrictions.
"Come Together" wants to be the common meeting point while respecting the rules: it is still possible to explore culture and art in our daily lives, and it is our duty as citizens to encourage and give them the visibility they deserve.
"After a year of restrictions, the need to meet people, make contacts and enjoy arts in company is greater than ever."
For another gallery visit along with our Magic Dozen collection manifesto drop-off run, we passed by one of the oldest galleries to display street-art at their new location on Marnixstraat. They expose young and upcoming artists, not specifically street-art at their gallery. However, what may not be known is the that the subsidiary of Go Gallery is Amsterdam Street Art (ASA), a partner of sorts to SAMA with the ambition of elevating street-art and making it more widely available across the city. It is for this reason they are featured in the our first book, thanks to Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst.
Whilst we were at the gallery, we were given a brief description about most of the artworks. However, the front window display caught our attention for its uniqueness and fresh take on the city of Amsterdam. The young artist in question is called Tycho, who built an instillation out of plywood mimicking the Amsterdam skyline. What makes this instillation unique are the ceramic wall sculptures featured on the plywood construction, as well as on the new monochrome, uncharacteristic buildings being built across the city. Each sculpture has the coat of arms of the city of Amsterdam, as a way of linking the historical buildings who showcase the coat of arms with those being built, no longer affiliated with the city.
From what we heard, we are incredibly excited to see GO open back up and be able to host their renowned exhibitions for further community linking and networking.
The continuous practice and expansion of the form we, the street art community, care deeply for is only natural. Therefore we should support those who promote street-art in a positive and respectful manner. That doesn't mean the ceasing of artworks which question and criticise those in society, and society itself, in an honest fashion. We can't descend, by crippling ourselves, into disarray whilst trying to elevate each other and street-art. With that we would like to thank Mainville, O.D. Gallery and GO Gallery for their time and attention that was spent with us, but also for being strong centres of support and community. Here's to hoping for the continued development and growth of this special, eclectic community.
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