The Painted Desert Project – round 1, post 1

July 10th, 2012 | By | 2 Comments »

Tom Greyeyes

Last month, Gaia, Overunder, Doodles, Labrona, Jetsonorama, Tom Greyeyes and Breeze participated in the first iteration of The Painted Desert Project, a project developed by Yote and Jetsonorama and which took place in the Navajo Nation in northern Arizona.

Of the project, Jetsonorama says:

We hoped to connect artists with vendors working along the roadside in homemade structures where food and jewelery are sold. We attempted to familiarize artists with the culture before they started painting. Because of the location of this project where large walls are few, the emphasis was on establishing a connection with the community. Both Tom Greyeyes and Breeze are Native American and came to the project already sensitized. We’d hoped to get more local youth involved in working with the artists but will have to pursue this with future iterations of the project.

As much as I enjoy the mural projects going on around the world right now, things like The Painted Desert Project are fantastic low-key but potentially impactful counterpoints to the hype and huge walls that seem to accompany more urban festivals.

Some of the crew

Jetsonorama is a talented photographer who took some spectacular photos of the artists at work and of the finished walls and signs, so it’s going to take more than one post to show everything. After the jump, we’ll start with work by Labrona, Breeze and Overunder…







Overunder (detailed)

Labrona (in progress)

Labrona (detailed)


Photos by Jetsonorama

Category: Events, Featured Posts, Photos | Tags: , , , , , , , ,
  • Why must we be so overly critical … The fact that more and more of this art is being embraced is great. Is it not? So what’s this “hype” stuff thrown about? This website is a super catalyst which helps create the “hype”, and we love you for it. I do anyway. I don’t see one mural project as more worth than another. Voting for a president in a broken two party system now that is “hype”, and truly worth our scrutiny and rotten tomatoes. Hail Romney, 666! I’m actually voting for Julian Assange. But come on, if you can’t be pleased with something providing inspiration, such all these great public wall art projects, then WTF is the point of any of it? Or have i taken this too far. Thank you and until next universe.

  • I don’t think I’m being overly critical. I enjoy mural festivals, and I’ve posted a lot about them here, but the hype and the urge to paint the biggest wall in the poshest spot both seem to go hand in hand with most festivals. Those can be great things (they bring attention to public art and great artists), but I think hype and huge walls can mean that festivals lose a bit of the idealistic roots that people associate (rightly or wrongly) with street art. It’s a minor complaint, but I don’t think it’s worth ignoring. When I’ve spoken with artists and other blogger, for the most part, we love mural festivals, but we acknowledge their weaknesses. Even Gaia, who organized a mural festival in Baltimore, has done so. Without at least acknowledging potential flaws in the mural festival model, how can best practices and truly great festivals develop?