Artists in California are decorating empty streets with beautiful murals (PHOTOS)

Apr 29 2020, 7:32 pm

With all that’s going on right now, it may feel as though the world is devoid of vivacity.

“Paint the Void,” a joint artistic initiative of San Francisco’s Building 180 and Art for Civil Discourse, is seeking to rectify this by bringing colour back into the lives of those living in the Bay Area and Oakland in California through installing beautiful murals.


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It also supplies various artists with work, which many have lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Artists still don’t have gigs. As we dwell in this liminal reality, we’ve realized that people need work and purpose,” the organization writes on its website.

“Artists want a commission, not a free lunch. Let’s explore opportunities that empower artists to rejuvenate our society.”


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The site continues that as multiple storefronts continue to board up their windows, the once iconic streets of Oakland and San Francisco now appear to resemble a “post-apocalyptic hellscape.”

The mission of the project is to match local businesses with visual artists to create reimagined messages of hope and beauty to display on their storefronts.

The initiative encourages people to “Help us fill the void with art.”

The program also comes with a fundraising element to supply the artists with stipends that cover their time and materials used.

Almost 50 artists signed up to participate in “Pain the Void” before the initiative launched. Artists are requested to fill out a quick digital form, in which the program’s team will review and contact each artist and business.


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“We are pairing artists with businesses in the same neighbourhood to avoid unnecessary travel,” the site explains. “We will directly connect the artist to a corresponding business to discuss general content guidelines.”

As a means of maintaining safety measures, the artists are recommended to work from home whenever possible. According to the website, many artists are experimenting with painting on canvas or boards in their studios and then attaching those to the already-existing boards on the various establishment storefronts.

“We ask residents not to congregate while artists are working or to view the work,” the site said.


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The initiative urges people to get involved whether that involves donating to the cause to ensure that the program can maintain the significant number of artists wishing to participate or spreading the word via social media.

The goal for the first round of fundraising is USD $10,000, which would allow for 15 artists to create murals for 15 storefronts, each receiving a $300  stipend for their time as well as the cost of materials up to $300 each.

If you would like to donate to “Paint the Void,” you can do so online.

Emily RumballEmily Rumball

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