“Public art is a magical experience for both the artists and viewers and the city as a whole,” said Greg Mike, President and Creative Director at ABV Gallery in Old Fourth Ward. ABV Gallery and Agency launched the OuterSpace Project back in 2015, an annual week-long event that brings together fine art, murals, design, live art, and music. “Each year we are pushing the boundaries creatively and bringing more artists into the project.”
Ensuring a mix of 50% local and 50% visiting artists, this year’s lineup includes more than 165 artists and 16 new murals. In fact, the 2022 festival marks the completion of more than 100 walls throughout the city since the OuterSpace Project’s inception seven years ago.
“We are always trying to bring established artists into Atlanta that many may never have a chance to see unless they are traveling outside of the city,” explained Mike. “In my opinion, Atlanta has one of the strongest street art scenes.”
Some notable wall art you might remember from past years includes the famous OutKast wall in Little 5 Points that was painted by artist Jeks from North Carolina back in 2019, the giant floral piece from Paris on Ponce completed in 2017 by Detroit artist Louise Jones, and the “Always Breathe” neon piece on the wall at Union EAV painted by Brooklyn-based Adam Kiyoshi Fujita in 2020.
So, what’s the deal with the name? OuterSpace Project, commonly shortened to OSP, is a reference to Mike’s belief that, like the very nature of space itself, creativity and artwork are similarly endless. “We are constantly encouraging artists to push their boundaries and ‘explore the creative unknown,’” said Mike, who noted it also ties in to the beautification of “outdoor spaces” through murals.
The music and event coordination aspects of OuterSpace are handled by Zero Mile, a marketing and services company that oversees booking, marketing, and operational support for The Eastern, Variety Playhouse, and Terminal West. ABV is responsible for artist curation, coordination, marketing, and production.
In addition to live painting on walls throughout the city, the OuterSpace project also hosts music and art shows in conjunction with the ongoing mural festival. On Thursday, July 21 from 6-10 p.m., ABV’s 100th monthly Drink And Doodle event will take place at The Eastern on Memorial Drive. This live art event boasts an incredible lineup of 100 local and visiting artists and is a wonderful opportunity to view works as they are created by noteworthy artists. Local favorites in the mix include Yoyo Ferro, Angie Jerez, Nate Frost, Nick ‘Turbo’ Benson, Sanithna, Sean Fahie, Chris Veal, Lela Brunet, and Greg Mike himself.
On the evening of Friday, July 22 from 6-10 p.m., ABV Gallery in Old Fourth Ward will host a group show “Explorations” as well as a limited edition print pop-up show. The following night, Saturday the 23rd, The Eastern will host the Big Bang closing event “Secret Walls.” Headlining the event is Flying Lotus, an experimental multi-genre music producer, DJ, and musician from Winnetka, California. Visitors will enjoy art, music, good vibes, and even a “4 vs 4 live paint battle” where artists will use only black paint to create original pieces within 90 minutes.
This year’s OSP is underway now, with murals going up in East Atlanta Village and Kirkwood. “I hope it continues to grow the art community in Atlanta and inspire anyone who interacts with it,” Mike concluded.
To keep up with the project online, follow OuterSpace Project and be sure to check out their 2022 mural map if you want to see some of this incredible work in person! Event information can be found here.
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