352walls, The Gainesville Urban Art Initiative, Florida – Part 1

352walls/The Gainesville Urban Art Initiative is part of an international urban art movement that brings a colourful transformation to downtown Gainesville, Florida.  The initiative is founded and curated by Iryna Kanishcheva, and coordinated by The City of Gainesville and Visit Gainesville.
Starting in November 2015, street artists from around the world, and local to Gainesville, have been invited to paint large-scale murals in and around downtown Gainesville.

International urban artists include Pastel from Argentina, Franco Fasoli JAZ from Argentina,
Alexis Diaz from Puerto Rico, Axel Void from Spain, L.E.O. from Miami, Evoca1 from the Dominican Republic, Gaia from Baltimore, Maryland, 2Alas duo from Cuba and Puerto Rico, Elian from Argentina, Interesni Kaski duo from Ukraine, Add Fuel from Portugal AND 2501 from Italy.

The first of 352walls was produced by internationally renowned Italian artist 2501. Lately 2501 is painting on architectonic surfaces to try a build an alchemy between what is happening around the world. The mural for 352walls is an animation. The shapes he paints can either be related to the natural form, the moon or even to technical form, a camera. his murals aim to trigger the viewer’s imagination.

Gaia’s powerful historic mural for 352walls entitled ‘What are the aesthetics of Reinvestment’ concentrates on downtown Gainesville, focusing on new urbanism and gentrification. The piece begins with a portrait of activist and urban journalist Jane Jacobs next to the historic immigration house, now the Lower East side Tenement Museum. It continues with an image of the newly constructed University of Florida, paired with a church from Porters, a historically black neighbourhood on the south side of downtown. Finally the piece is concluded with an old photo of Union Academy, the second accredited all African-American high school in Florida, and the school’s founder A Quinn Jones. Lastly there is a person on their laptop drinking coffee in the corner.

2Alas paints another wall painting faces amongst the black strokes, complimented with red.