Nexopia

CANADIAN STREET ARTISTS GO GALLERY AT UNITY MAKES STRENGTH

Zach Buch

Collective Arts Brewery is a GTA based craft brewery focused on merging independent artists and independent beer-making. They’ve gotten a fair amount of notice for their split interests in making fine craft brews and fostering Canadian arts. One tactic: putting fine art on beer labels.

This May, Collective Arts launched their Series Three labels by featuring the artists in a gallery show curated by Fred Caron. Galleries are blank spaces, white rooms made to contrast the art displayed– it’s the pinnacle of framing, of both opening art and putting it in a box. And you can feel the contrast between the art hanging at The Alliance: Unity Makes Strength show and the white, hand-printed walls that surround them among the clicking of heels, ringing of phones and wash of conversation. All of the artists in The Alliance: Unity Makes Strength show are street artists. Their work goes up with tags, on brick walls under bridges (Labrona, who’s “Gazing” is above, started out painting the sides of freight-trains), and now, beer labels. The whole evening seems to ask where it belongs.

Street art is ever-gaining in popularity and main-stream acceptance as fine art, but it retains its cultural edge just by the nature of its framing. As Caron said in his speech before the show “it’s impossible to bring street art to the gallery. Street art is on the street.” So all of the artists created new works on canvas for the show.

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