Christchurch, N.Z. – SPECTRUM Street Art Festival, a partnership with the YMCA directed by George Shaw, began February 14 and runs through May 10. The latest in a series of Oi YOU! festivals, Spectrum includes local and international artists, and boasts the largest Banksy collection in the southern hemisphere.
Installed in several rooms at the YMCA, the first section of the exhibit begins with an installation that pays homage to New York graffiti artists of the 1970s and 1980s. It also includes collections of modified found artworks, paste-ups and stickers, and room-size installations by Sofles and filmmaker Selina Miles, Tilt and Banksy, and Christchurch local DTR crew, and ends with a large room installation focused on the work of the eight headlining artists.
The second section of the exhibit, located at the Canterbury Museum, consists of a large display of T-shirts that addresses their role as “mobile canvases” for street artists. Finally, the third section of the exhibit is dispersed throughout the city, where visiting and local artists will paint walls. An app, Street Wise, can assist visitors in finding local street art.
George Shaw, the director of the festival, also organized RISE, a street art show based at Canterbury Museum last year. There are plans for an annual international street art event in Christchurch with works displayed indoors and outdoors.
“Christchurch has already overtaken Melbourne in Australia as the city in the southern hemisphere with the most street art, and there are plans for that to grow exponentially over the forthcoming years,” said Shaw–even to the point where Christchurch could become “the street art capital of the world.”