‘Paint Your Faith’ project, Canada

April 14th, 2010 | By | 4 Comments »

A crew of Christian (CORRECTION: not all artists involved are Christian. The event is a nondenominational exploration of spirituality and faith, but it happens to be sponsored in part by a church) graffiti artists are set to start work on a 130-foot long mural in Vancouver.

Paint Your Faith is a collaboration wall between Faith47 (South Africa), Peeta (Italy), Titifreak (Brazil) and Indigo (Canada).

“For seven days, these artists will take a blank wall and turn it into their own personal canvas, creating a piece of art that will change the Vancouver landscape and open discourse for what faith, spirituality and art is really about.”

While, for a lot of readers, organised religion combined with street art surely brings forth apparitions of ‘happy clappy’ crappy aerosol art and hymns blasting out on the boombox, the artists involved with this project – planned over six months (albeit by the Wondercafe.ca and the First United Church of Vancouver) – are all highly experienced.

Open your minds to the religious propaganda just a little  and quit cringing at statements such as the crew wanting to, “express their unique and unified interpretation of faith”  and you might be led to think this project quite special.

I would recommend watching the interviews with the artists about their interpretations of faith on the PYF website.

The Paint Your Faith project will also include a group show at Ayden Gallery (opening April 24), featuring Chor Boogie, Mediah, Elicser and Siloette as well as Dedos, Kaput, Misk, Scott Sueme and Phresha.

The mural project starts April 21 and takes place at:

55-57 W. Hastings Street (across from the Woodwards Building)

Paint Your Faith

Category: Gallery/Museum Shows | Tags: , ,
  • http://www.faith47.com faith47

    i need to clear this- i am not christian in any way… in fact i am not a supporter of religion at all.. which i made clear from the start to the organizers… it is suppost to be more of an open dialogue…

  • http://www.paintyourfaith.com alan serpa

    I am the producer and co-creator of this project. Thanks for writing about it but your information not correct event with Faith’s comments to you about the Christian aspect of this. I realize everyone is entitled to an opinion and an interpretation of of what they read, but I thought I would set things straight from my perspective.

    This project is not sponsored by a Church. It is sponsored by wondercafe.ca and supported by the United Church of Canada. Emerging Spirit is the actual body that has been exploring different themes and creating conversation to anyone and everyone.

    If this was Nike or Adidas would it change the fact that the goal is to support emerging and up and coming artists. Would the message be cooler or better. Would the event still be “Clappy Happy” or “Crappy Aerosol”. When I was at Lollapalooza last year I noticed there were a lot of “Clappy Happy” people and they were singing the hymns of many bands.

    The local partner is called First United Mission Church which is actually more of a mission than a traditional Church and serves to help and fee the homeless and less marginalized in the area we are creating the mural.

    In typical fashion you refer to the artists as graffiti artists, well they aren’t they are artists . We might have said crew in our press release however this is not about crews, getting up, tagging or anything that is associated with the original foundation of the art form. This is about the art, the artists and collaborating.

    In Toronto we worked with acclaimed artists like Chor Boogie, Elicser, Media, Siluet and we are now working with a new group in Vancouver and the message and idea is still the same.

    Bring amazing people and artists together and ask them the question of how spirituality translate on to a wall is not easy and it is quite different, but there is no desire for a transaction here by the supporters of this project.

    This is not Nike, Adidas or any other major brand trying to sell you a product. The partners have never asked for anyone to come to church, sign-up for church or even sing hymns. There is nothing “Clappy Happy” or “Crappy Aerosol” about this.

    Each artist has their own views and no one has been asked for POV on religion. This is not about trying to make an older generation understand youth, it is not about trying to get youth interested in the organized institution however what it does do is ask the question about spirituality and since starting this project I’ve noticed that a lot of people, artists, groups are afraid of this question.

    I really hope that the take away from whoever gets to witness this in Vancouver or see it from abroad is the work of the artists and what it means to the community we are in.

  • http://www.vandalog.com RJ

    Yes, we misunderstood the Christian aspect. The artists themselves are not all necessarily Christian. That is now apparent. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

    As for the sponsors of the event, wondercafe.ca is a soft-sell and “hip” recruitment tool for The United Church of Canada. wondercafe.ca is part of Emerging Spirit, a recruitment organization for The United Church of Canada which targets 30-45 year olds. While both Emerging Spirit and wondercafe.ca are meant to be exploring faith and whatnot, it’s clear that the eventual goal is to get people to explore their faith right into the pews of The United Church of Canada. And that’s fine. But you are trying to sell a product.

    I would say that this is pretty much the same as an event being sponsored by a shoe or car company in terms of “coolness.” In the end, you’re doing a great thing by supporting emerging artists, and in return the church is hoping some of the artists’ coolness will carry over to them. Just like if Nike sponsored the event. And that’s fine too. These artists need the support. I think part of what Demian was saying may be true with any corporate sponsorship of an event. As soon as Nike or a church or anything like that gets involved, there’s a loss of control by the artists which is often noticeable in the end result of the event. Plus, plenty of people are understandably uncomfortable around religious events.

    When we say graffiti or street artists on this blog, we don’t mean it in a negative sense at all. Titifreak’s bio notes that he does or did graffiti, and so does Faith47’s website. In fact, your own website’s bio of Titifreak calls him a graffiti artist. And now by trying to distance yourself from that world, you’ve made me really skeptical of the whole event.

    In the end though, you’ve got some amazing artists working at Paint Your Faith, so I’m sure that the collaborations on the mural will look fantastic, and that (not what you’re selling) is what’s important it me.

  • http://www.serpa.ca alan serpa

    Thanks for the reply RJ and no worries on the misunderstanding about the artists being Christian.

    This project is not about being cool or trying to chase cool. I’ve been in the business of experiential marketing and events for over 15 years and you never chase cool or try to be cool no matter what, at least that is what has made me successful.

    Paint Your Faith Vancouver has really turned into more than just a wall with some amazing artists trying to get people into pews like you claim it was made to do.

    One part art development, second part community beautification, third part empty lot transformation, fourth part local community social housing project partnership with the wall signifying a connection to community. It is much larger and more than anything to do with recruitment.

    If you read up on our blog and understand what has happened, if you take the time to read the amount of press about what this wall has done, if you take the time to truly understand what this means then you will understand it is nothing you have claimed it to be.

    The artists were not given a brief, they had full control of the piece and the only guidance they were given was a theme which was faith and spirituality. The artists were actually quite surprised that they weren’t really given any direction, I know because I was the one that brought them together and guided the project.

    Not sure what your experience is in branding and experiential marketing but it is a large generalization to say that artists lose control when in many instances they are the ones who drive the creative direction unless the agency does so and pays for work or what is called work for hire.

    I know good people who work at Nike and there are many artists who have done amazing work on their campaigns and had full control. However, I do understand that in some cases it can happen. But if an artist is getting paid and agrees to a fee then the question of control is really up to whether or not they negotiated it and also if it is part of the deal.

    On your whole notion of recruiting and the church trying to recruit people, I am not sure what to make of it because I don’t feel the same way, but I guess we can agree to disagree.

    Take care and be well.