Local artist hopes to paint different picture on urban art
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Some who see a man unzipping a duffle bag full of aerosol cans might think he is up to no good, but Braylyn Stewart said he aims to cover up the bad that others leave behind.
"It's still writing on the wall, so it still fits the definition of graffiti," said Stewart.
Through various projects, the urban artist has marked his territory.
"Instead of covering it up with a blob of paint to make it look ugly, they cover it up with another mural done by a professional," Stewart said.
Stewart said he has been doing various art forms since age 3, but has been painting murals for around 13 years.
"I like to incorporate imagery into it," Stewart said.
"I like to use the aerosol as a medium of paint rather than just a marking tool."
His hands have been full lately, painting a mural outside the Americana Community Center. The legal mural was made possible through a grant from the ArtsReach Institute at the Kentucky Center.
"Through the ArtsReach program, any community center or school can reach out to the artist on that list and contact them for their services like they can teach their specialty, like sculpting or painting, or in my case, graffiti," said Stewart.
For this mural, the 29 year old has not done it alone. Children from the community helped to create the image.
"Through the ArtsReach program, it was able to bring me into their lives and to teach them about Urban Art and graffiti and aerosol ‘muralism,'" Stewart said.
Stewart said he had been approached by organizers at ArtsReach to create his first mural at the Shawnee Community Center a few years ago.
He said he had done several paid and unpaid projects across town, including one at the Louisville Central Community Center on 13th and Muhammad Ali Streets and another at the 100 Party for the J.B. Speed Art Museum. Only the Shawnee and Americana Community Center projects were through the ArtsReach program.
Stewart said he wants to change the views on non-traditional art through the program and word of mouth.
"A program like this is good for kids because it gives them an outlook on an aspect of art that they normally would not get," said Stewart.
He said he hoped to paint a picture of how to express creativity, without breaking the rules.
"In my case, with graffiti, you know they probably see it done illegally and they would want to participate or want to know how it's done but they don't necessarily know the proper ways to go about doing it," said Stewart.
Stewart said he has even used some of his own money to purchase some of the materials if grants or the payment would not cover it.
With art, he says the beauty is in the eye of the beholder
"It's just in the eyes of where you do it, the location," said Stewart.
"The only thing I see as wrong graffiti is like cuss words and things that just honestly shouldn't be where they are."
Though the work he does sometimes gets transformed, he said he will continue to make up for the changes.
"I will get a legal mural, somebody will come along and do something disrespectful to it, like this smiley face here, or write their name," said Stewart.
"Hopefully this time they will just stay off of it."
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