Occupy Greensboro Art Fest, Part 1

Jan 19th, 2012 | By | Category: Entertainment

Occupy Artfest Name TagsLast Wednesday-Thursday-Friday the 12th-13th-14th, Occupy Greensboro hosted its Art Fest, with events at the Wash Pub in Quaker Acre’s, Amanda’s House on Yellow Locust Drive, and Glenwood Coffee & Books in Glenwood. In addition, flash performances and happenings were staged throughout the city unannounced during the daytime on these days. I probably should have written about this 5 days ago, but sometimes it’s tough to get around to things when you’re the 99% (bloggers are part of the 99%, right?)

Anyway, I had heard about Art Fest through facebook or the occupygreensboro blog or through twitter or through real life, and it seemed worth checking out. Unfortunately, I missed the Open Miccupy at the Wash Pub on Wednesday because I don’t have a car because I don’t have a job. On Thursday I was better prepared, however, having talked my friend Kelly into driving me to a promising “Collaborative Mural Painting” scheduled to take place at “the intersection of Yellow Locust and Mystic Oak.” Poetic, yes.

Kelly and I got pretty pumped at the prospect of documenting Greensboro’s greatest artistic dissidents, painting capitalism out of existence in a grand statement of public defiance. As the ride to Yellow Locust and Mystic Oak took us farther and farther away from downtown, though, we started wondering who was going to see this mural when it was complete. When we arrived at that intersection of Yellow Myst, our misgivings were only compounded by the fact that we couldn’t see any evidence of painting, Occupiers, or radical locusts. What we did find was a piece of paper taped to a street sign, reading “Art Fest This Way–>” and pointing somewhere down Mystic Oak.

Occupy Artfest Rectangles


Several quality pictures of Kelly walking around lost resulted. Here’s a sample. Finally, we spotted a house with an open, beaming garage, Approaching the garage, we noticed words painted on the walls in lime green: “Social Work 4 Life.” Above that, “BJs 4 Life.” The fact that there were several buckets of paint lying around suggested that we had discovered a collaborative mural painting, and not a random act of vandalism.

Kelly and I knocked on what we soon discovered was Amanda’s door, and were let in to what we soon discovered was a nearly empty house. Our next discovery was that the mural painting was not so much a public event as an intra-Occupy get-together. And not so much a mural painting as a let’s-paint-graffiti-in-our-own-garage-because-it’s-fun… thing. As a small circle of friends and Occupiers entered the room, I began to feel increasingly odd with my notepad–it was sort of like standing in the corner of a dinner party with a lampshade on my head. Amanda’s kitchen was quiet. “I Wanna Be Sedated” was playing, quietly.

Thank Christ we went out to the garage before much longer and painting started happening, though just how revolutionary the paintings were was questionable. One dude painted a tree with brown Nirvana lyrics for roots (“I heard it on the way here, and it really got me thinking about us, you know? Like us all.”) Ed Whitfield, executive director of the Fund for Democratic Communities, drew a nine-pointed star and giggled when asked if it was supposed to be satanic. One guy was busy painting a bunch of blue and red rectangles. Our conversation went, “What do these represent?” “Well, they’re rectangles.” Nobody painted over “Social Work 4 Life.”

Occupy Artfest wall

I guess that’s pretty topical.

Getting ready to give up and crash somebody else’s party, I was caught on my way out by (the lovely and talented) Mo Kessler, who tipped me that the real event to behold would be Friday night’s “Occupy the Moment” at Glenwood Coffee & Books. There would be art. There would be singing. Rumors were circulating about granola. There would definitely be puppets. There will be another Avant Greensboro post about it by tomorrow.

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2 Comments to “Occupy Greensboro Art Fest, Part 1”

  1. Tristan says:

    um… whoopsies. my calendar tells me the dates were the 11th, 12th, and 13th. it could be lying though; i'll try to get a straight answer out of it.

  2. Avalon Kenny says:

    I can totally picture Ed doing that. Ha.

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