Zoer, Ana Barriga, Satone, Eloise Gillow, Daniel Muñoz, Isaac Cordal among other urban art top names create 19 new artistic interventions for the 1st edition of Osona Artimur Festival, curated by B-Murals in the countryside of Barcelona.
- The local authorities of Osona (a beautiful countryside area in the north of Barcelona) bet for a big format urban art festival: 19 new murals and artistic interventions have found a new home in the walls of 5 different villages of the region this last October.
- Osona Artimur gathered top artists of the local and international scene (France, Germany, Argentina, Ireland, Italy, Chile…), in order to produce identity portraits of each different small town, from a contemporary approach and point of view.
- In this rural context, muralism and street art stand up as a unique mixture of tradition and innovation.
Between October and November 2022, Barcelona based artistic center B-Murals curated and produced Osona Artimur Festival, a never been done initiative of the Department of Tourism of Osona (an idyllic region up north BCN full of rivers, mountains and beautiful landscapes), in collaboration with the Catalan company Transit Projectes.
Nineteen well renowned artists from the international muralism scene, the Spanish contemporary art world and some local guns selected through open calls and participatory processes, intervened the streets and the public space of 5 different villages – Prats de Lluçanès, Manlleu, Sant Julià de Vilatorta, Sant Bartomeu del Grau and Alpens -, supported by an extensive production team which included assistants, runners, photographers and film-makers.
Osona Artimur: when urban art takes place in a rural context
This unprecedented project for B-Murals generates several questions around street art and the context of its own development. For instance, can small towns be an ideal scenario for urban art?
The fact is that looking for walls outside the big cities can be an alternative solution for artists and cultural managers due to the difficulties that can be found downtown Barcelona. The rules about architectural aesthetics, the shortage of legal walls and the strong rivalry make managing big events of this nature a very hard task to do.
Same way that some of the interventions beautify its surroundings and easily catch the eye of the visitors (the walls of Wedo Goas, Jan Vallverdú, Luogo Comune, Alberto Montes, Marta Lapeña, Twee Muizen, Eloise Gillow…) the 1st edition of the festival showed us that muralism can generate discussions about the roles of tradition and art in rural areas.
For example, the controversial work of Ana Barriga at Sant Julià opened a big argument about the place for contemporary art in a countryside context, but also the considerations about gender issues and folklore showcased by Mateu Targa’s wall, the horse culture represented by Sergi Bastida’s piece and the deep thoughts about the actual human being condition that can be found in Isaac Cordal’s figures.
Participatory processes are tools for making different profiles of population more visible, as it happens with the work of Daniel Muñoz, created in collaboration with the local mental health collective Osonament. Besides that, the proposals of Chu Doma, Zosen and Alessia Innocenti, done with several students, allow to find new paths of exploring art, claiming its power as a way of self expression and educate new audiences.
On the other hand, contemporary and abstract pieces shutter the traditional aesthetical criteria, looking for new portraits of local identities, as the murals of Zoer, Satone, Ana Barriga, Rosh and Nano4814 display. Additionally, rural contexts become new places for researching, innovation and promoting art.
Finally, it’s fair to say that Osona Artimur festival brings new horizons to art in the countryside of Catalunya and these five pioneer villages of Prats de Lluçanès, Manlleu, Sant Julià de Vilatorta, Sant Bartomeu del Grau and Alpens go one step beyond for leading the way.