“Art for the People” Artworks and Artist Information

Clay McAndrews

“My hope for this mural is to spread peace. I encourage people to interact with it, photograph it and share it with your network. By doing so you are spreading peace.”

Clay McAndrews

Clay McAndrews is the Founder and Co-Director of the Bright Walls Mural Festival, which takes place in Jackson, Michigan. He earned a degree in Graphic Design from Central Michigan University. His work focuses on bright color palettes with simple subjects and clean lines. 

(Bio as provided by the artist to explain their works and background. Artists’ views are their own and do not represent the USG.)


Stefan Ways

“My murals are meant to activate vacant space and empower the viewer and connect them with their immediate and greater surroundings, giving them a sense of place within their community just as the mural does. I have explored themes of environmental awareness, concepts meant to inspire children, community, women’s empowerment, and LGBT resilience. There is a recurring theme throughout it of self reflection and growth. Outside of the greater message of the art, I enjoy taking time as I am creating to engage with passers by, introduce myself and explain my work and process. A personable connection with the community provides them a larger comfort in knowing a little more about who has shown up to put a piece of art in their neighborhood they will view in their day-to-day for years to come.”

I have been producing public art projects for over 13 years in the states and internationally, working with private property owners, small businesses, city entities, and large corporations. I started my public art career in Baltimore, Maryland doing small community murals at local parks funded by grants, activating dull spaces while bringing together local artists. I left Baltimore to start a new life in Portland, Oregon in 2015 where I continued my career painting both personal and commercial murals. Since, I have painted work in various US cities and have shown public artwork internationally in Germany, France, England, Brazil, and Australia. My current home base is in Denver, Colorado because of the opportunity the city provides for artists and its central location for travel.

(Bio as provided by the artist to explain their works and background. Artists’ views are their own and do not represent the USG.)

The Larger Self

The Larger Self is meant to inspire children and adults alike to consider their larger self, take responsibility for the bigger picture of our planet and to understand that for every action is a reaction, and that all life on earth is interconnected. The mural also incorporates the four earth elements. The geese represent the wind, the whales represent water, the ferns represent earth, the stars – fire.

(Bio as provided by the artist to explain their works and background. Artists’ views are their own and do not represent the USG.)

Love Endures

The Gingko tree is the last of its genus of trees that have survived the hands of time for 270 million years. A timeless symbol of endurance and permanence. In these times of climate change and Covid 19 we are reminded more and more that there are forces beyond our control, we have had to face our mortality, our impermanence. Like the Ginkgo leaf, our planet will remain long after we leave. This street art piece was placed in Denver, Colorado in June of 2020 preceding the riots and protests over the American judicial system and its racist policies. Stefan really hopes that the faults brought to light in our governance and society can be seen and heard and real change can be made. Love endures, just like the Gingko.

(Bio as provided by the artist to explain their works and background. Artists’ views are their own and do not represent the USG.)


David Amoroso

David Amoroso shows his admiration for Latin culture through his artwork. His artistic passion is divided between painting, photography, and block and screen prints. Although the majority of David’s work is dedicated to painting iconic portraits of everyday people, he also represents Mexican pop culture through his work. His involvement within the Latino art community has allowed him to create Mexican altars for Día de los Muertos and Guatemalan Alfombras de Aserrín. His art has brought him to exhibit and work in the DC Metro area, California, Arizona, North Carolina, Mexico, Central and South America.

(Bio as provided by the artist to explain their works and background. Artists’ views are their own and do not represent the USG.)

RBG

Ruth Bader Ginsburg (RBG), late Supreme Court of the United States, has elevated so many of us through her groundbreaking efforts and commitment to equality.  RBG’s “Super Power” was that she was able to see the world with clarity. 

(Bio as provided by the artist to explain their works and background. Artists’ views are their own and do not represent the USG.)

“This image represents everyone, in lieu of a specific person, and the flag draped over the shoulders is intended to envelop and comfort the subject like a blanket.”

(Bio as provided by the artist to explain their works and background. Artists’ views are their own and do not represent the USG.)


Scott Eagle

“I honestly do not know if I have ever made a work of art and I no longer care. I am an object and image maker and I use objects and imagery in the same way that writers use words or musicians use sound; As a communicative medium. More specifically, I use images to represent ideas and issues that I am dealing with in my day to day life. For me the creative act and the process of making is always a learning experience and quite often the object or image that I create changes me as much as I change it.”

Scott Eagle is an Associate Professor and serves as the Area Coordinator for the Painting and Drawing program at the School of Art and Design, at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina. His paintings and illustrations have been exhibited and reproduced internationally. Publications featuring his work include The Oxford American, The New York Times, Wired Magazine, Juxtapoz, and numerous books. Scott was selected by Creative Quarterly Magazine as one of their top 100 creatives for 2013.  He works in a wide variety of mediums including digital and is especially interested in the idea of the creative act as thinking through making.

(Bio as provided by the artist to explain their works and background. Artists’ views are their own and do not represent the USG.)

School of Flying Fish
School of Flying Fish

(Bio as provided by the artist to explain their works and background. Artists’ views are their own and do not represent the USG.)


Chris Riggs

Chris Riggs “for Mayor” is a contemporary New York City artist, whose art works are based on a unique combination of cubism, abstract, surrealism, minimalism, pop and street art has made him a leading artist of his generation. His paintings and sculptures are in museums, galleries, and private collections in over 50 countries.

Chris Riggs was born in Manhattan, New York in 1973, and studied painting and political science at New York’s City College and Columbia University, New York. He lives and works in Miami and New York.

Chris began his career painting when he was three years old with his grandfather who was from Italy. At age 11, Chris’ medium was aerosol, painting murals in the abandoned buildings and train tunnels of New York City. At age 17, Chris traded in his spray cans for a paint brush. Since the mid-1990s, Chris Riggs has been making complex abstract paintings and sculptures. In 2004, Riggs decided to run for Mayor of New York City because he saw an injustice: Bloomberg cut the school lunch program. This angered him, and he decided run for Mayor of NYC and change the city through his artwork. In 2005, Riggs played himself as a mayoral candidate for New-York City in documentary movie “The Promise of New York. “ He started to create art under the name Chris Riggs for Mayor.

He executes his political city-based paintings and sculptures in acrylic and spray paint. Chris associates the vivid colors and geometric shapes he uses with the City’s unique vocabulary and palette, and, most importantly, its politically active, changing the world, dynamic.

These works, based on cubism, abstract, surrealism, pop art, minimalism and street art are derived from the unique point of view of the artist. Chris’ influence includes NYC street art, black and white African art, Picasso, Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Pollock and Andy Warhol.

(Bio as provided by the artist to explain their works and background. Artists’ views are their own and do not represent the USG.)

Love Hearts
Love and Peace In China

(Bio as provided by the artist to explain their works and background. Artists’ views are their own and do not represent the USG.)


Tom Meyer

Tom Meyer has been referred to as an ‘outsider’ artist.

He is indeed a self-taught painter. Working primarily with acrylic on canvas or board, Meyer’s paintings originate from impulses within his soul. The cast of characters that inhabit his paintings give an account of his inner life and his imagination. They tell a story with his themes, “of redemption, forgiveness, acceptance, rejection and love,” as he has described it.

Meyer has said, “I don’t paint things, I paint ideas.” His work is informed and inspired by a variety of ideas, from current events to ancient philosophy. Through an outsider or visionary artist, Meyer’s work is part of a creative tradition with roots that include early American folk art and that has continued to evolve in numerous and dynamic ways up to today. Meyer has created a personal universe with his paintings, as many outsider artists have done. 

(Bio as provided by the artist to explain their works and background. Artists’ views are their own and do not represent the USG.)

Can You Find Me?

(Bio as provided by the artist to explain their works and background. Artists’ views are their own and do not represent the USG.)


Michelle Angela Ortiz

Photo credit: Ryan Collerd

Michelle Angela Ortiz is a visual artist/ skilled muralist/ community arts educator/ filmmaker who uses her art as a vehicle to represent people and communities whose histories are often lost or co-opted. Through community arts practices, painting, documentaries, and public art installations, she creates a safe space for dialogue around some of the most profound issues communities and individuals may face.

Her work tells stories using richly crafted and emotive imagery to claim and transform spaces into a visual affirmation that reveals the strength and spirit of the community.

For 20 years, Ortiz has designed and created over 50 large-scale public works nationally and internationally. Since 2008, Ortiz has led art for social change public art projects in Costa Rica & Ecuador and as a cultural envoy through the United States embassy in Fiji, Mexico, Argentina, Spain, Venezuela, Honduras, and Cuba.

Ortiz is a 2020 Art for Justice fund grantee, a Pew Fellow, a Rauschenberg Foundation artist as an activist fellow, and a Kennedy Center Citizen Artist National Fellow. In 2016, she received the Americans for the Arts’ public art year in review award, which honors outstanding public art projects in the nation.

(Bio as provided by the artist to explain their works and background. Artists’ views are their own and do not represent the USG.)

Aqui y Alla

(Bio as provided by the artist to explain their works and background. Artists’ views are their own and do not represent the USG.)


Pony Wave


Pony Wave is a tattooist, street artist and painter currently residing in Los Angeles, where she operates her studio. She is best known for her art works and paintings, in particular for her Stay Safe! mural on the Venice Art Walls in Los Angeles, which gained notability and media attention. In her art, Pony Wave specializes in stylized colored drawings influenced by modern trends of realism, Zhostovo painting and an old Russian folk handicraft of graphic art. She also appeared on Ink Master season 12 as a tattoo artist. Pony Wave was born and raised in Vladimir, Russia, where she started her tattoo career. Later on in her adult life, Pony Wave moved to Los Angeles, USA, where she works and lives now. Pony Wave is a vegan.

(Bio as provided by the artist to explain their works and background. Artists’ views are their own and do not represent the USG.)

 

Stay Safe!

(Bio as provided by the artist to explain their works and background. Artists’ views are their own and do not represent the USG.)


Thomas (Detour) Evans 

Thomas Evans, a.k.a. Detour, is an all-around creative specializing in large scale public art, interactive visuals,portraiture, immersive spaces, and creative directing. His focus is to create work where art and innovation meet. A born collaborator and “military brat,” Detour pulls from every conceivable experience that shapes his landscapes and perspectives. 

Explaining Detour’s work is no easy task, as ongoing experimentations in visual art, music, and interactive technologies have his practice continually expanding. With his ever-evolving approach to art, Detour’s focus is on expanding customary views of creativity and challenging fine-art paradigms by mixing traditional mediums with new approaches—all the while opening up the creative process from that of a singular artist, to one that thrives on multi-layered collaboration and viewer participation.

(Bio as provided by the artist to explain their works and background. Artists’ views are their own and do not represent the USG.)

MLK
I am Beautiful

 

(Bio as provided by the artist to explain their works and background. Artists’ views are their own and do not represent the USG.)


Nils Westergard

Nils Westergard (NILS.RVA) is a nomadic Belgian-American street artist and filmmaker based in Richmond, Virginia. 

Starting with graffiti at a young age in the Washington, DC area he honed his skills painting tunnels, bridges, and theatrical stage sets. His intricate hand-cut stencil work set a foundation for his studio practice and landed him at Virginia Commonwealth University where he studied film, making hip-hop music videos combining his crafts. After graduating he set out to paint a different European city every week for 6 months, and established himself as a rising figure in the street art world.  

Today his lens has focused on subjects scaling from the global to the intimate- creating massive, drippy, portraits found on walls around the world, followed closely by his immensely detailed stencil work in galleries. A member of the Amsterdam based Multi-Syndicate Crew artist collective he splits his time between Richmond, VA and Europe. 

Nils is 28.

(Bio as provided by the artist to explain their works and background. Artists’ views are their own and do not represent the USG.)

Girl with Phone
Girl with Phone

(Bio as provided by the artist to explain their works and background. Artists’ views are their own and do not represent the USG.)


John Isaiah Pepion and Louis Still Smoking  

John Pepion is a Plains Indian Graphic artist from the Piikani Band of the Blackfoot Confederacy. He is based out of the Blackfeet reservation in north-central Montana, where the Rocky Mountains meet the plains. John is best known for his ledger art, an art tradition that developed in Plains tribes as the buffalo hide, traditionally used for painting, became scarce, and they were forced to adapt to making artwork on the ledger paper from accounting books. He comes from a family of artists, and pictographic art has been in his family for hundreds of years.

(Bio as provided by the artist to explain their works and background. Artists’ views are their own and do not represent the USG.)

Louis Still Smoking. Blackfeet Artist

“I want to move people; have a voice in the world. If you move people you are doing your job as an artist”

Louis Still Smoking was born and raised in Browning, Montana on the Blackfeet Reservation. Art is in his veins. Inspired by other family members who were talented, he found art to be therapeutic and started drawing and painting at a young age. Growing up in a small community allowed him to focus on his ability to use a pencil and paintbrush. Louis finds all medias equally important opportunities to express art to the world through his eyes. He likes to take on a challenge and put everything into his work. He graduated from Flandreau Indian School in Flandreau South Dakota in 1998. Louis worked as a stone sculptor for 11 years and then decided to go back to college and further his studies in art.

With a sculptural mind he has found that his painting and drawing skill needed further development so he took on an emphasis in painting. Louis’ artwork is influenced by the Impressionists, Lucian Freud, research on the history of the American Indian Movement movement, and he finds it inspiring because what they accomplished was based on wanting to make a difference. Louis’s work is always evolving and growing, “I try to convey a message that is relevant to all native peoples, whether that be social or political. My work expresses my own personal beliefs and struggles as a modern Native American.”

(Bio as provided by the artist to explain their works and background. Artists’ views are their own and do not represent the USG.)


Betsy Casañas and Ian Pierce

Betsy Casañas

Betsy Casañas is a Visual and Public Artist, an educator, a community activist and an organizer. She is the director of A Seed on Diamond Gallery and founder of Semilla Arts Initiative. Casañas has 26 years of experience in the arts and has created over 50 murals worldwide. In 2018 Casanas was featured in the Robb Report as one of “5 Women Changing the Face of Street Art Around the Globe”. Her work is known for its use of pattern and color and for the dignified light that she represents the humanity in marginalized communities. 

Creating safe spaces has been a vital part of her work. As a Latina artist who has been working in communities of color around the world she understands the importance of the people living in these communities to see themselves reflected in the artwork and in the leaders of  the places they inhabit. She believes that artists have an obligation to reflect the times we are living in and to highlight the people’s story and change the narrative that has been created for us. By normalizing and humanizing our collective stories we create communities that are more tolerant.

(Bio as provided by the artist to explain their works and background. Artists’ views are their own and do not represent the USG.)

Ian Pierce
Ian Pierce

Ian Pierce (or Ekeko) is a painter, mosaic artist and muralist with vast experience in large scope artwork in public spaces. He has developed projects as a solo artist or in teams, having accomplished many murals and educational workshops in Chile, Venezuela, Canada and the United States. Through his murals he seeks to connect the viewer with important themes such as individual and collective memory, Latin heritage and cultural identity. An important feature in his work is the constant search to reconnect beauty and poetry with the everyday life of people and their communities; redeeming their struggles and dreams through art. Although born in the United States, he has lived most of his life abroad, especially in Chile, where he currently lives.

(Bio as provided by the artist to explain their works and background. Artists’ views are their own and do not represent the USG.)

Sanctuary City by Betsy Casañas. Sanctuary City, a joint collaboration by Betsy Casañas and Ian Pierce, was supported by Mural Arts Advocates and Mural Arts Philadelphia.
Sanctuary City by Betsy Casañas. Sanctuary City, a joint collaboration by Betsy Casañas and Ian Pierce, was supported by Mural Arts Advocates and Mural Arts Philadelphia.
Sanctuary City by Ian Pierce. Sanctuary City, a joint collaboration by Betsy Casañas and Ian Pierce, was supported by Mural Arts Advocates and Mural Arts Philadelphia. https://www.muralarts.org
Sanctuary City by Ian Pierce. Sanctuary City, a joint collaboration by Betsy Casañas and Ian Pierce, was supported by Mural Arts Advocates and Mural Arts Philadelphia. 

(Bio as provided by the artist to explain their works and background. Artists’ views are their own and do not represent the USG.)


MasPaz

MasPaz is a Colombian born, Washington, DC based, multidisciplinary-artist. He is known for his distinctive street murals exploring indigenous themes and connectivity across the Hispanic diaspora. His work has been exhibited in galleries throughout the United States and Latin America and his larger murals can be found adorning streets and spaces internationally.  Mas Paz means ‘more peace’ in Spanish, a message he strives to embrace through both art and philanthropy. 

He has been featured on ABC News, Telemundo and The Washington Post, among others. He has collaborated with brands such as Nike, National Geographic, Roots, Sierra Club and Brooks Running, as well as institutions such as the Smithsonian Portrait Gallery, the New Museum, the Corcoran, the Freer and Sackler Gallery. He has also worked with numerous schools and education centers throughout the world. During the pandemic, MasPaz has initiated a series of free online art classes, encouraging art as an avenue for mental health, as well as designed a limited edition print and textile, raising money for local charities and community centers. 

He can usually be found, brush in hand, painting, teaching, or spreading his message of “more peace” abroad.

(Bio as provided by the artist to explain their works and background. Artists’ views are their own and do not represent the USG.)

La Union

(Bio as provided by the artist to explain their works and background. Artists’ views are their own and do not represent the USG.)