The National Gallery of the Cayman Islands has been experiencing mural success. Local and international artists as well as eager students are all enjoying the opportunity of creating art in a public environment. The Journal reports.
According to the National Gallery’s Education Co-ordinator, Kaitlyn Elphinstone, its Mural Project is a wonderful opportunity for individuals to get involved in community art. She states: “The project gives participants a sense of pride in their surroundings (George Town) as well as a great sense of accomplishment. Individuals have been able to share their skills and talents and work in groups to achieve fantastic works of art!”
The Journal interviews one such Street Artist, Erik Kristmanson, whose muralst can be currently found next to the new Government Administrative Building – panel numbers 17, 18 & 19.
Where and how did you learn your Street Art skills?
I’ve always been interested in art, especially modern and contemporary, and when I moved to Ottawa Canada six years ago, the city’s urban art scene really caught my eye. I learned a lot from some of the older artists in the area (thanks to Dems, Gero, DTR, and others) but aside from their help, I basically taught myself.
It takes dedication and practice to be a street artist. I’ve been doing this for six years and I’m nowhere near where I want to be.
What other Street Art projects have you been involved with?
I have done seven commissioned works and over twenty murals in the past year. At the moment I’m working on two other paid works and preparing for the next ‘painting season’ since the -20ºC temperatures here in Canada right now aren’t great for painting in.
Who is your favourite street artist?
I honestly can’t say. Some of my most influential artists are in the HSA and MSK crews (Artchild, Kwest, etc) and more locally, probably Evoke and Daser.
How did you come up with your tag name “Poser”?
As I majorly paint commissioned works and legal walls and I chose the name Poser to reflect that. Honestly though, the word you choose doesn’t have to mean anything, as long as you can have fun with the letters.
How did you hear about the National Gallery’s Mural Project?
I saw the ‘Fund your dream!’ wall while driving downtown and had to find out what it was about. It’s great to see more cities doing this project.
Do you think it’s important for communities to offer public art space? If so why?
I do think legal walls are important. Simply, they brighten up the environment. Walking through a city that is all steel and concrete has no personality or unique qualities, which is what I love about the Cayman Islands. Not only does it brighten up the day and make for a more interesting cityscape, but it gives everyone a feeling of living somewhere unique. City pride is important, and legal walls also cut down vandalism. With a creative outlet for their art, street artists can take more time and effort to create works on legal walls, resulting in more impressive art and less vandalism. Public art spaces are also a great place to showcase artwork that 75 percent of the population would never see.
As a street artist, what’s next?
What’s next? I have no idea. The best thing about street art is that you can do whatever you like. I’m going to keep pushing my work to the limits and see where it takes me, hopefully I can make a career out of it. Next year, I’ll be starting a bachelor’s program in Graphic Design but I couldn’t ever see myself quitting urban art. It’s my passion and I’m glad I could share it internationally. Thank you.