ConnectHort – Street art workshops in Barcelona

Florian Bo Virginia Brito ConnectHort

Sometime ago I received a message on facebook from The Barcelona Academy of Art. It related to some workshops they were helping to organise at ConnectHort, a community garden in Barcelona. The academy were hoping I would be able to share some information about the workshops through my social media pages. To be honest I wasn’t really sure what to make of the request. I wasn’t totally sure how I was going to be able to promote an event that already had it’s full quota of participants. In all honesty, I just assumed it was some artists teaching people with zero street art experience how to paint. It’s not that I don’t want to help, more that I wasn’t sure what benefit me sharing the info would have for the academy.

Taneli Stenberg Anetta Lukjanova ConnectHort
Taneli Stenberg & Anetta Lukjanova for ConnectHort

Well, as is often the case I was wrong. Turns out the workshop was led by a couple of artists who’s work I really like. The participants were mostly really interesting young up and coming artists. Not only that but they all created some pretty amazing, big, permanent murals. After all my complaining about the lack of murals in Barcelona I go and semi ignore someone organising some!

Mr Sid ConnectHort
Mr Sid for ConnectHort

Thankfully I realised my mistake early enough and I have been able to get a few words from the two leaders of the coursesAnetta Lukjanova and Taneli Stenberg.

You recently organised some street art workshops at ConnectHort, can you tell us a little bit about the idea behind these workshops?

Our initial idea was to aim this workshop for people interested in developing their own artistic work as well as creating work specifically suitable for its neighbourhood and community. By organizing the workshop under Barcelona Academy of Art we were hoping to reach people dedicated to art and interested in spreading their experience into different mediums.

We wanted to tell our participants about today’s mural painting field as widely as we could. So even with no experience from walls before, everyone would get the understanding and tools needed for developing the field in their own way.

Maya Jevans ConnectHort
Maya Jevans for ConnectHort

Why did the Barcelona Academy of Art choose ConnectHort as the location?

ConnectHort is a urban gardenspace concentrating on sustainable lifestyle and permaculture. It was created thanks to the project Pla Buitspromoted by the Ajuntament (local council).

We spotted the space during a bikeride and instantly proposed them to take part in our workshop. From the beginning both parties saw the cooperation as a great plan so we went for it. The work that the administrators and volunteers at ConnectHort do is important and positive for the neighborhood but the outside murals had been in a bad condition for quite some time.

This project gave our participants the opportunity to find ways to represent artistically both themselves and the garden with their murals.

Emilio Mäkipää ConnectHort
Emilio Mäkipää for ConnectHort

What did the representatives of the ConnectHort gardens think of the final murals?

We have only gotten good feedback from the representatives and they seem to be very happy with the end result! They have said they love the new energy and colors the murals brought in.

Maria Vilko art ConnectHort
Maria Vilko art for ConnectHort

Are all the artists involved studying at the academy or can anyone join the workshops? There were some really talented and diverse artists involved and the final pieces are fantastic.

Anyone can join the workshop! Barcelona Academy of Art is a great platform for the workshop because it attracts people truly interested in great art. Still, half of our participants had not studied in the Academy while all still had backround in visual arts in some form. It was quite interesting to see how diverse and interesting our lineup became this way. We were amazed by the work our participants created!

Art Ull ConnectHort
Art Ull for ConnectHort

Do you have any plans for more of these workshops? Maybe in different areas of the city?

We have not planned any future workshops yet but very open to continuing the work! This workshop turned out very successful and we have had inquiries to organize it again. We are definitely always on a lookout for ideal spots! 

Monstro ConnectHort
Monstro for ConnectHort

About

The Barcelona Academy of Art is a school specialized in the teaching of Drawing, Painting, Sculpture and Digital Art following the methodologies of the classical-realist tradition. Each program focuses on the study of the old masters and the direct observation of nature working, among others, with live models. The Academy ultimate purpose is to create a new community of realist artists that, whilst posessing excellent technical skills, explore their own identity and are strongly connected to the contemporary world. 

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