SAMA - Katoomba Street Art Walk

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SAMA (Street Art Murals Australia) is a social venture run by artists, for artists. They aim to fight for the legitimacy of graffiti and street art on a national scale, and are currently in the process of putting together one of the biggest developments the Australia graffiti scene. SAMA as an organisation sells three products to fund the social venture, murals, workshops, and consultancy. They bring beautiful art to the public, in spaces where graffiti usually isn't encouraged or allowed. SAMA is a driving force in NSW, fuelling the increasingly large fire that is the social acceptance of graffiti and street art in the community. SAMA is completely not for profit, and any profit made goes right back into funding more walls, workshops and that's what we're talking about here - The Street Art Walk project. Writers and artists always want large, visible walls to paint on, which as we all know, can be pretty hard to come by. Surprisingly enough, not everyone wants some colour on their walls. This is exactly why SAMA has put in the hard work to find a single lane with a huge assortment of walls, big and small, to make available for artists to get busy on, and bring some flavour to Katoomba. This project will undoubtedly benefit the Sydney graffiti community, and also, the community of Katoomba. Much like the well known locations throughout Melbourne, this will act as a tourist attraction as well, opening the eyes of people who may not have seen art in public of this quality before. It's all about realigning the perspectives of those who might be 'anti-graffiti' for the wrong reasons. Australia, and in particular, NSW, has been poor at managing graffiti and street art, blindly applying policies of 'Zero Tolerance' to something that should be embraced as a positive part of society. This project is a tangible way of showing the government and council what graffiti and street art has for the community. Graffiti writers will always paint, no matter what the policies are and what restrictions are put into place, so why not provide a large location for artists and writers to safely produce some incredible work? It's all about beautifying the streets. The success of the Street Art Walk project will result in almost 4000 square meters of paintable walls, that's about 180,000 bricks. That's a lot of wall space! You're probably wondering how it's going to function, and here's how. The Street Art Walk will operate much like the Bondi Sea Wall, where artists will propose to the organisation responsible for the site (in this case, SAMA), requesting a numbered site (there will be a large range of walls, from small to large in a range of textures). Along with this requests, artists will be asked to show some of their previous work, to ensure the work going up is going to be decent, along with a brief description of the piece to be completed. Unlike most legal sites though, SAMA will not require sketches of your pieces, or require artists to paint boring, typical murals. No kids reading books or 'Australian Bush Theme' murals here. Artists will be encouraged to paint what they want, how they want (within reason of course, no pornographic material etc). So as you've seen, SAMA are crowd funding this project, meaning people from all around, artists, or just people who think it's a great idea, pledge to contribute financially towards the project to bring it's success. And the way crowd funding works, is that if the target ($18,000) isn't met, the pledgers will pay nothing, so they only pay should the project be a success. You may be wondering what the funding goes towards, which is a good question. SAMA will be putting on a launch event upon the commencement of the project, paying high-level artists to bring a bang to the start or the project. We've heard who SAMA are lining up for the event, and it's going to be big. The funds will also go towards the long term infrastructure of the site, and finally, SAMA will be purchasing a cherry picker, to provide easy access to the huge walls. This is the time to get behind the practical advancement of legal graffiti and street art, never before has such a clear-cut and unique opportunity arisen for the growth of the scene we love. So do all you can to get behind this project, if you can't provide funds yourself, spread the word onto those who might be able to, and before long, we'll have an incredible street of huge, beautiful walls, right there, begging to be painted. Until then, check out some photo's we've received from SAMA, including an aerial shot of the street, showing just how many walls are available, as well as some shots of some of the available walls, as well as their Crowd Funding Page and Facebook Page.

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