Paint Louis

Now in its 22nd year, Paint Louis – the Graffiti writing juggernaut that artistically beautifies the riverfront flood wall is set to return! Paint Louis is an amazing time for everyone and it would be my pick for a great activity this weekend.

Paint Louis 2017 St. Louis Floodwall Photo by DeWarren Smith

If there wasn’t enough reason to support this event already then here is another and perhaps the most important one; this year’s Paint Louis will showcase women’s presence in the art form. Women graffiti writers for the first time in Paint Louis history will be featured on the front walls, a very prominent position along this weekend’s concrete canvases.

Now let me be clear, women for years have been participating in Paint Louis and have been “writing” for decades but as Caroline Caldwell states, “although female writers exist in the subculture of graffiti, their work tends to be more infrequently seen and acknowledged as that of their male counterparts, something that some artists feel mirrors the lack of feminine representation in the art world”. This weekend organizers confront this issue head on with Front Wall status! I am certain these women are going to show out! From my perspective it is great to see artforms connect vis a vis Hip Hop and to make much needed social statements.

Paint Louis 2019
Paint Louis 2017 photo by: DeWarren Smith

Even though Hip Hop is often used as a synonym for rap music the term really describes a complex culture and system of artistic expression. There are essentially four elements of Hip Hop culture and “graf” or “writing” is one of them. All over the world Hip Hop culture positively influences and adorns many landscapes and cityscapes through grafs and the eyes of this community within the culture will be on St. Louis.

This year’s Paint Louis will also have fun activities for the youth. Whether youth attendees want their faces painted or want to paint they may get their chance here! According to event organizer, James “So ‘N So” Coleman, artists will be on hand teaching youth how to paint properly with gloves and masks.

In addition to activities there are a number of young performers that will hit the stage! One of my personal favorites, Heir Jordan will turn up for sure!. The youth performances start at 12 noon so be sure to support our regions youth you may get to see the next Nelly, Murphy Lee, or Smino!

Not to be out done by the young emcees and performers there is a hefty line up of acts for this year’s Paint Louis as well. Check out these creatively done flyers within this post for the list of performers. I am seeing many new names which goes to show the wide appeal and newness this event brings. Please hit me up and let me know which acts your are excited to see perform.

Event: Paint Louis

Location: Floodwall at Chouteau and Wharf, 1000 S. Wharf St 63104

Date: August 31st from 11am-1pm

Cost: FREE

Suggested parking: off the street

Sponsors: Midwest Avengers, Redbull, So’n’So, Amoeba Arts, Screwed Arts Collective, Freedom Culture Coalition, Saint Louis BSS DJ Collective, St. Louis World’s Fare, and Erase the Trace.  For more information, contact John Harrington at (314) 494-5895 or on Instagram, go to @paintlouis2019 or follow the Paint Louis 2019 event on Facebook.

DeWarren Smith