This year's Funtastic Fourth will be colorful to say the least. Along with the bright, color filled bursts in the night sky and the scintillance of the festival, art gallery I Think 219 will be adding a wholly different pallet to the event.
Owner, Ramon Holguin and curator, Andrew Bowman have invited 10 artists to participate in Through the Can, a painting party that will be a treat to spectators attending the festival.
Through the Can is the brainchild of gallery owner Ramon Holguin, sort of. “I got the idea from a festival they had in Odessa,” said Holguin who is also the vice president of the Downtown Revitalization committee.
“They had the artists spray paint these huge panels and it looked really cool so I decided to do it here,” explained Ramon.
Anyone even remotely familiar with the field of art knows how diverse it is. However, aerosol art or graffiti as it is commonly known, has an infamous history fraught with criminality, violence and vandalism. But, that history also includes the discovery and successful careers of many artists who might have otherwise never had any recognition for their talents.
Graffiti has gained the respect of artists and elite art galleries such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York City since it's explosion in the 70s. Artists such as Basquiat, who was supported by Andy Worhol, have had their work displayed in galleries and museums all over the world.
Once considered gang related vandalism, graffiti artists are being commissioned in cities like New York and smaller towns in America to paint the walls of buildings old and new in a mural fashion to improve the appearance of what would otherwise be considered eye sores.
Although some artists have commanded high price tags for their work and the form itself has been accepted by the art world, just mentioning the word graffiti to some will result in a diatribe of vitriol and malice whether or not it is pleasing or moving to look at.
Ramon and Andrew hope to help change the derogatory image of the medium by providing a venue for area artists to showcase their talent and perhaps gain some recognition.
“We want to show that it can be art,” Ramon commented and added, “We want to show kids that if they do it the right way that it's welcome.”
Graffiti arguably has the most diverse, eclectic and controversial history of all art forms. Now known as aerosol art the use of spray paint to create large, colorful abstract paintings has earned some 'writers' respect among the art elite.
The popularity of graffiti as an art form continues to grow. Many writers have won commercial success making graffiti a regular presence in pop culture and the contemporary art world.
Through the Can will be an exhibition bordering on performance art. Ten artists, one traveling from as far away as Los Angeles, are lined up to express themselves through their creations.
Ten 8' X 12' plywood panels, donated by Harris Lumber and Hardware, will be set up at the corner of 2nd St. and Main St., in the parking lot adjacent to the gallery. With Hip Hop and Rock music playing in the background, each artist will be supplied with paint and encouraged to create a painting with a patriotic theme.
“We want to make this a positive thing,” said Ramon. “We plan on taking them on a tour of Big Spring to give them an idea of what Big Spring is and hopefully inspire them to incorporate that in their work.”
Another aspect of aerosol art which makes it unique is that it is most often created by crews and may include five or more people each contributing to the piece.
“I just hope it helps them get some exposure and lead to commissions,” Ramon said.
Most of the artists are from surrounding areas such as Odessa and San Angelo. Others will be traveling from as far away as El Paso, San Antonio and Los Angeles. Some of the artists who are scheduled to participate are Spik/Lifers, David “Flako” Perez with Lifers, Belief, Inx Davila, Headr, Josh Jimenez and Dersk One out of Los Angeles.
Opening ceremonies for Funtastic Fourth begins at 6 p.m. June 28. The writers/artists will begin painting at about the same time.
Through the Can is being sponsored by ALON USA, ALON Brands and Funtastic Fourth. Other events for the festival inculde: A hot dog eating contest begins at 6:30, Extremo will perform from 7:30 to 8:15, Mad Mexicans 8:30 to 9:45, Del Castillo 10 to 11:30. Saturday, 6 to 6:45 Forgotten Road, 7 to 7:45 Clayton Adams Band, 8: to 8:45 Matt Kimbrow, 9 to 10 Adrian Calvio Band, 10:30 to midnight Mark McKinney.
To contact Andreia Medlin call the Herald at 236-7331 ext. 234 or email firstname.lastname@example.org 
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