Apr 8, 2019
Community Art Partners

Charlottesville, VA . . .The Charlottesville Mural Program (a project of Bridge Progressive Arts Initiative), in coordination with Tom Tom Festival, is pleased to announce the addition of 2 new murals to Charlottesville. Tom Tom Festival Artist in Residence at The Bridge Federico Cuatlacuatl will be painting a piece on the Sun Tribe Solar building titled Senyelistli at 1808 Broadway Street. Caesar from 1500 Studios (Richmond, VA) will be painting a piece on the Meals on Wheels building, 704 Rose Hill Drive.

The Murals will begin during the week of April 8th and are scheduled for completion by Mid April. Tom Tom Festival partners with The Bridge Progressive Arts Initiative to bring new murals to Charlottesville year-round.

About Federico Cuatlacuatl:
Born in Cholula, Puebla, Mexico, Federico Cuatlacuatl is an indigenous artist based in Virginia. He grew up in Indiana and received his MFA in 2015, specializing in Digital Arts from Bowling Green State University. Federico’s work is invested in disseminating topics of Latinx immigration, social art practice, and cultural sustainability. Building from his own experience growing up as an undocumented immigrant and previously holding DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), Federico’s research is primarily concerned with pressing realities in current social, political, and cultural issues that Latinx undocumented immigrants face in the U.S. Federico’s independent productions have been screened in various national and international film festivals. As founder and director of the Rasquache Artist Residency in Puebla, Mexico, he actively stays involved in socially engaged works and binational endeavors. Federico Cuatlacuatl’s recent work explores tradition and culture as political weapons. Using sculptural kites and digital video projection this exhibit will express a perspective that empathizes and connects with local Latinx immigrants to amplify collective voices, and pose art as a powerful lens for cross-cultural endeavors. The mural, titled Senyelistli, involves ecosystems and symbiosis with nature and culture.

There is an emphasis in highlighting a visual language that encapsulated technology and nature co-existing. It is a theme that carries on through natural and artificial, biological and technological, digital and organic. This mural design also pays tribute to and celebrates the native Americans of what is now Virginia. The design pays homage to their knowledge and embrace of nature as a mother by adopting a symbiotic lifestyle in their communities. Cuatlacuatl intends to provide an opportunity for teenagers to work as assistants on painting the mural.

About Caesar for 1500 Studios:
Growing up in Virginia, Caesar is an accomplished Sign Painter and Mural Painter, as well as an established figure in the world of Graffiti. First picking up a spray can at the age of 13, graffiti became a lifelong obsession, giving meaning and purpose to his creative inclinations. In pursuit of this passion, Caesar spent years on the road, seeking out walls and freight trains to adorn with his brand, collaborating with fellow graffiti writers all across the country. Living and painting in a wide range of small towns, the gypsy lifestyle began to define his artistic vision. A house painter by trade, spray paint was soon replaced with brushes and rollers, giving his work a unique texture which stands out from the masses. After years of painting his name in every fashion possible, the mastery of letter design led him into the craft of sign painting. Following the narrow path to the top of the mountain, he eventually landed a job as a billboard painter in New York City, learning how to paint colossal murals on the sides of towering skyscrapers.

Starting his own company in this field, he spent five years in the big apple, completing hundreds of massive murals, and hand painting countless signs, storefronts, and windows.

Among his many artistic accomplishments he had the honor of working on a mural in Soho for the renowned Banksy; spent time in Oklahoma City creating an installation at Wayne Coyne’s gallery The Womb; and was commissioned by Converse Shoes to paint a giant mural in Brooklyn , which was placed on the back cover of Juxtapoz Magazine. Looking for ways to share some of his experiences and knowledge, he has taught a summer course on Graffiti at the historic Elk Hill Boys Home in Goochland, held workshops at Richmond Young Writers, and worked with SPARC teaching visual arts for an after school program at Church Hill’s Robinson Theatre.

ABOUT THE BRIDGE PROGRESSIVE ARTS INITIATIVE: The Bridge Progressive Arts Initiative is a cultural hub for Charlottesville offering an inclusive space for creative thinking and artistic pursuits while providing resources and methodology for meaningful arts engagement throughout the community. Our mission is to bridge diverse communities through the arts. More information can be found at our website – thebridgepai.org or by following us on Facebook.

ABOUT THE TOM TOM FOUNDATION AND THE FESTIVAL: The Tom Tom Foundation is a nonprofit organization that champions innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurship in America’s small cities. Tom Tom’s flagship event is a weeklong festival that takes place in conjunction with Thomas Jefferson’s birthday each April. The Festival welcomed over 20,000 attendees to Charlottesville, VA in 2018 and has channeled nearly $3.1 million to new ventures since its inception in 2012. Learn more about Tom Tom and its mission at www.tomtomfest.com.