Brave new turn for art 

Second annual Brave Art exhibit showcases global stars with locals show

click to enlarge 1313braveart.jpg

What: Telus World Ski and Snowboard Festival

What: Brave Art exhibit

When: April 15-22

Where: Telus Conference Centre

Tickets: Free admission

After last year’s response to an art exhibit reminiscent of something you might find in cultural meccas such as New York or London, the Telus World Ski and Snowboard Festival’s Brave Art – a showcase of urban street art ranging from graffiti to skatedecks – takes an even braver step forward this year.

A slide show performance from New Yorker Ricky Powell, artists-in-action performances and a showing dedicated to local talent, are all new additions this year, contributing to an exhibit as outrageous and invigorating as the artists who show there.

"It’s street art," said event curator Cec Annett of the exhibit. "A lot of the people involved come from the skateboard industry: graffiti, graphic art, that type of thing. It’s a combination of legends, original ’70s and early ’80s guys from Brooklyn who really started the movement. We’ve also got some great up and comers and local artists as well."

Legends such as Shepard Fairey, Stash and Doze Green are returning and will be joined by new exhibitors Kinsey, Dalek, Mars 1, Bigfoot 1, Mr. Jago, SheOne and Dr. Revolt. More than 30 artists will be showing.

This year’s Brave Art reaches globally, with artwork being flown in from London, Berlin, Helsinki and Mexico City, along with work from New York, San Francisco, San Diego, Portland and Seattle.

Eight artists will be painting and spray-painting live at the opening party Saturday, April 15 at the conference centre.

"I think it evokes emotion in people," Annett said of live performance art. "It is one thing to look at a finished product, but to see a creation created over a few hours is just fantastic."

Artists will also perform alongside local DJs for the April 17 opening of Brave Art’s newest addition: Brave Locals, a showcase dedicated to Sea to Sky artists. The three-day exhibit will also display provocative street/snow culture works.

"We are trying to open a locals’ art gallery in Whistler. We have a lot of young emerging talent that we want to make sure is represented," said Brave Locals curator Kate Power.

"A lot of our artists have not shown on this scale. It’s inspired a lot of new ideas for the artists."

The Brave Art showcase has doubled in size this year, expanding from the confines of the Whistler Village gondola building, to the 6,500 square foot grand foyer of the conference centre – the hub of the festival. The exhibit will be the gateway to signature, sell-out events such as the Photographers Showdown and Filmmakers Showdown.

A sell out is also predicted for the live slide show by artist Ricky Powell April 20 at the conference centre. You may not recognize the photographer’s name, but most likely you’ve seen his hip hop/street culture images of stars, including the likes of LL Cool J and Flava Flav.

"He’s an original native New York photographer, a crazy character that has taken pictures of hip hop stars and celebrities and just plain crazy New York people," Annett said. "He (was) the official photographer for the Beastie Boys. He’s a crazy hustler guy. He just grabs slides randomly and talks about the stories behind them. He’ll keep people laughing for an hour and a half."

Check out www.braveartwhistler.com next week to view samples of exhibit participants’ works.

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