Art and/as activism

If you’re local, perhaps you’ve seen some of these images on buildings around town. I found out about them the same way I find out about everything else lately: Instagram. Done by the director and co-founder of Chalk Riot, Chelsea Ritter-Soronen, the murals were created to raise awareness for the Syrian refugee crisis. She has secured 12 locations around St. Louis on which to put her wheatpaste images. Wheatpastes are made out of a glue consisting of flour and water, with an end result kind of resembling thick butcher paper. Unlike graffiti, they are not permanent, but expected to last 5-10 months depending on the weather.

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The pictures are derived from images in the news, then Ritter -Soronen adds wings or feathers to give the art a personal touch. Most say “Bring Them Here” and, yes, there’s a hashtag for that (#!). She wanted to shed light on this refugee crisis and was encouraged by the success St. Louis has seen in welcoming and assimilating the Bosnian immigrant community into the city. I knew a few of these images were on and around Cherokee Street so went looking for them last week when I was in the area (most of the images pictured here are near the intersection of Cherokee and Jefferson St.).Β  I love the idea of this semi-permanent medium and thought the pictures were really thought provoking. I am a big fan of art with meaning and this is definitely it.

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You can follow along on Instagram @wagonways or check out their website.

And not to get all Amazon on you… but if you like this post, you might also like this one and this one.

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