Last week, I was in Stavanger, Norway for this year’s Nuart Festival. It was a blast, but I’ve been really slow about posting about it. I was at Nuart as part of the Nuart Plus conference, the lecture and panel discussion side of Nuart. Some of the other speakers included Tristan Manco, Carlo McCormick, Ron English and Evan Pricco. Hopefully soon, the video from Nuart Plus will be online, but in the mean time, I’m going to have to focus on the main part of the festival: The art.
Nuart is one of my favorite mural festivals, along with Living Walls and FAME, because they have consistently and for many years brought together the street art community to improve a city otherwise would not have all that much street art or graffiti (there are a handful of local writers and and street artists who should not be discredited, but Nuart’s work certainly dominates the city). The argument can be made that the annual street art invasion might be insensitive to local residents, but I’m a big fan of turning cities into temporary playgrounds when art gets left behind.
In this first of probably 3-4 posts about this year’s Nuart, there are just images of the set up and the work in progress. While Nuart leaves Stavanger with great new murals and installations every year, one of the great things about Nuart (and many mural festivals) is what happens between the artists and the festival staff behind the scenes. Every evening, there were group dinners at Food Story, and usually some light drinking followed. In this way, Nuart ends up facilitating conversations and friendships that go beyond the festival and may carry over into future work.
There are two components to the art production side of Nuart: Indoor installations and outdoor installations (mostly, but not entirely, murals). This year’s Nuart artists were: The Wa, Aakash Nihilani, Eine, How and Nosm, Ron English, Mobstr, Niels “Shoe” Meulman, Saber, Dolk, Jordan Seiler, and Sickboy. A very solid line up with a few heavy hitters and a few talented but underrated guys.
The indoor installations were in the old beer halls of Tou Scene, a venue that Nuart has used a few times before. Tou Scene is a great space for Nuart’s installations, because the beer halls are basically these big beautiful archways like the arches that the London galleries Black Rat Projects and Arch 402 are in. The outdoor installations take place all across the city.
There was some amazing work made this year, with highlights being a murals by Ron English and Shoe, and the indoor installation by How and Nosm. Expect many more photos over the next week or two.
Photos by Ian Cox