Thursday, April 10, 2014

Urban Acrobatics Chicago Preparation: Visit to Alternatives and Paint Shopping with Werm

Yesterday I got to visit Alternatives, Inc. to meet the director, the wonderful Carmen Curet, and talk logistics with her and resident artists Andy Bellomo. Alternatives provides after school programming for youth, boasting classes in dance, circus, DJ-ing, computer technology, painting, and more. Walking around the site I got to see classrooms, kids working at computers, youth rolling around on unicycles, and an array of beautiful masks for their upcoming annual fundraiser. The front of the building, as well as walls in the hallways are covered with colorful mosaics.

Exterior of Alternatives, Inc. Chicago, IL. Photo Credit: Caitlin Bruce

Urban Acrobatics will be hosted by Alternatives, Inc. on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, so come and check it out!

Today I went to Modest Skate Shop in Oak Park with Werm to select paint for the performance. Along the way we got to discuss his history as a graffiti writer, recent musical projects, and future goals.
Werm picking out colors for the Urban Acrobatics performance on Saturday, April 19th. Photo Credit: Caitlin Bruce

Werm started painting when he was 12, and in 1994 was able to join CAB crew, of which he is now the leader. He makes a living off of his art, doing signs, airbrushing, and murals. You can see his work all over the city, most recently at a wall that features a "He Man" action hero theme. His pieces often feature a worm character, curving in on the outsides to create a larger "w" shape. He is also a prolific rapper, best known for his songs "Paint Away the Pain" and "Wrong Side of the Tracks."

"Paint Away the Pain" is a remix of Mobb Deep's song, "Drink the Pain Away," and gestures to the cathartic release that writers can get from painting, a kind of artistic means of working through everyday problems. "Wrong Side of the Tracks" is an homage to the Artifacts, who, according to Werm, were the first rap group to feature live painting in their music video for their version of the song, "Wrong Side of the Tracks." His songs, like his artistic work, is fresh, powerful, and honest. One of Werm's goals is to paint in every major city in the world. To that end, he will be painting at the Houston Meeting of Styles in addition to the Chicago Meeting of Styles.

Anyone interested in learning the basics of tagging should check out his workshop, which will be on Thursday April 17th at Alternatives, Inc. from 5:00 to 6:45pm. You can check out his bio and soundcloud page on the April 8th post.
Colors for the Urban Acrobatics performance. Photo Credit: Caitlin Bruce

Until tomorrow!

No comments:

Post a Comment