‘FreeWall Jam’ Event puts spotlight on street art significance

Honoring Black History Month
BHM FreeWall Jam Event at UNR
Published: Feb. 22, 2023 at 10:05 PM PST
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On Wednesday afternoon, UNR’s Black Diaspora Program hosted a “FreeWall Jam” event, putting a spotlight the importance of street art and its impact on counterculture.

Organizers saying, the event offers a better understanding of what the use of street art means and the skill required to create the art with a spray can. Similar to Hip Hop music, street art is often misunderstood.

During the interactive event, two pieces of plywood were placed out on the lawn. Students were given the opportunity to participate in spray painting one of the murals. The other, was completed by UNR graduate and local street artist, Doomed Movement; all while Hip Hop music played over two portable speakers.

“Public art, its so necessary, its something that people disregard or don’t think that people should get paid for it; but you don’t know a life without art, you don’t know that its around you in every spot that you go to,” said Movement.

Serene Townsell is a senior at UNR, and is the reason why this event took place. Townsell says she was inspired to share the knowledge she gained about shifting the perspective and appreciating Hip Hop music, after attending a lecture given by Hip Hop Scholar and educator Dr. Fredrick Gooding, also known as “Dr. G”.

“Hip hop, just like graffiti is largely misunderstood, it gets a bad rap and so its just a matter of understanding the context because there is art- beautiful art, genius- hidden right in plain sight in front of us...the ability to create and make themselves vulnerable in a public space thats something that should be admired,’’ said Dr. G.

The ‘FreeWall Jam’ is meant to offer a different perspective, to see how various artistic outlets have contributed to American history.

“It is an art form; its difficult, its technical, you have to be talented, you have to practice at it...So its not just something delinquents put on a wall,” said Townsell.