While recently visiting family for the holidays in Kentucky, we often visited Louisville (Luha-ville) and each time we drove through town, there was a new and exciting piece of Street Art on the side of a building. New for me, mind you.
Most of the street art I discovered while visiting Louisville I felt was more “art” than graffiti and was actually quite interesting to look at and interpret, or simply admire.
What exactly is “Street Art”?
Artists take to the streets to fill empty spaces on the sides of buildings and other public spaces that are either plain or rundown, and turn them into a artsy masterpiece. Walls become an open canvas for creative, colorful, unique pieces of artwork to be displayed.
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Bryan Patrick Todd is a Louisville-based designer who has done local work for several businesses.
Address: 415 East Market Street, Louisville KY
Sometimes, Street Art is also referred to as “Urban Art” or “Guerrilla Art” and is different than your every day graffiti, or pure vandalism. This trend of Street Art dates back to the 80s during a “graffiti boom” and has since evolved over the last decades into a more sophisticated and inspiring version of art.
Artists tend of create work that makes a statement about the society in which the artist lives by to having their work communicate with everyday people about these issues, which can be very powerful and reaching tons of people. Sometimes, the artwork is purely for aesthetics.
How is Street Art different from graffiti?
Street Art uses a variety of techniques such as stencil art, mosaic tiling, LED art and so much more, making it stand out from your every day graffiti. Considering that much of this artwork takes time to create, I am sure the artist has the approval from the building owner before starting work. However, there is much debate as to whether or not much of this is actually considered “art” or “graffiti”.
Graffiti is something ever major city deals with and is generally unappealing “tagging” by a group of people in the typical graffiti font. Sometimes it can also be quite interesting and almost artistic, but this type of art in usually found in run down places, under bridges or the backsides of buildings or walls. Generally, graffiti artists don’t ask for permission from the building owner before vandalizing buildings, as this typically happens late at night when no one is around to watch it happen.
Here is some of the artwork I discovered while in Louisville:
Address: Downtown Louisville near 2nd and Market
Artwork in the Highlands, a district of Louisville
On the border to the Highlands is this wall mural letting you know you’re now in the Highlands, located on the right hand side of the Old Town Liquors building.
Address: 1529 Bardstown Rd, Louisville, KY 40205, USA
Painted on the opposite side of the Old Town Liquour Store on Bardstown Road by Byron Roberts and Gary Bennett in 2002. These murals were partially funded by the City of Louisville.
Address: 1126 Bardstown Rd – Across the street from Akiko’s on Bardtown Road
Address: 1034 Bardstown Rd, Louisville, KY 40204, USA – on the left side of the Holy Grale church turned bar, behind a fence.
There were many more we saw while driving around town, but didn’t have the time to stop for every single one. Louisville is definitely a haven for young and innovative artists taking an empty space and turning it into a vibrant and colorful wall mural. Bardtown Road is definitely a breeding ground for some pretty unique art pieces making for an entertaining drive around town!
If you’re looking for some extra guides to prepare your trip, we enjoyed these the following items, both before and after our trip to Kentucky! The first gave us a lot of history and information about the Kentucky Bourbon Trail while the second we purchased along our journey for some home cooked meals in the future! And of course, my faithful Travel Guide Bible, the DK Travel Guide: USA!
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