I am honored to say that I have created some little piggies… well, they’re not really that little.
I was asked to come and take a look at a large wall in a place that will soon become a Pensacola icon. Global Grill’s new restaurant called Urban Swinery is scheduled to open sometime this year and have asked me to create some pieces of art for their wall.
After meeting with them and Studio Pica to discuss the look and feel of the new restaurant, I fell in love with the project.
It was on, I was going to create some giant pigs… something that I actually hadn’t done yet.
This was a fun project and I worked with some amazingly creative people to finish what I consider some amazing pieces that I am very proud of.
All I can really say is “That’ll do pig, that’ll do.
Where the Pensacola News Journal building once stood is now a series of luxury apartments built to add affordable living space to beautiful downtown Pensacola. Developers tore down the old News Journal building to make way for Southtowne Apartments, which is made up of rental units and retail shops designed to appeal to the downtown crowd.
I was invited to live paint at a private event held for their new residents. Although the project is still under construction, I have to say, it is a beautiful location. I couldn’t help but look around and think to myself that I could easily live there.
Balconies, views, sidewalks, stores, amenities, parking, and downtown right out your front door… right up my alley. My only concern is that wherever we go, the studio comes with us and the need for room to create.
Anyhow, Klee and I mingled while I painted and showed off a few of my finished works. We had an amazing time, with some really beautiful and sweet people.
This project along with other things going on downtown gets me excited for the future of Pensacola and the direction it is heading in. This town has really embraced its creative community and moved forward with a lot of events and projects that support local art and artists.
In my opinion, we can use a few more commercial art galleries downtown, but I’m sure that will happen eventually and for the time being I love the relationship I have with the businesses that show my art.
My only criticism of the Southtowne project and big projects like it is the lack of local art on their walls. I could be wrong about this, but walking around I saw beautifully decorated spaces with all kinds of art, but no one I recognized locally… Still, beautiful stuff, but I would be highly disappointed if it came from Kirkland’s.
Either way, we had a blast Saturday night and met some amazing folks. We look forward to seeing it in all its glory when completed.
The date has been announced, we will be releasing 80 small art trees and 100 empowering happy magnets around downtown Pensacola on March 12th, 2018. Klee and I will go out in the cover of darkness and #INSPIREASMILE with art.
There is something special about the mystery and the covert nature of bringing joy to people that totally gets me pumped. It’s a very rogue and unexpected way to bring happiness and I hope people will be inspired to smile by the gesture.
In the past, I have left small art trees around town, this year in addition to the art I’ll also have small sketches that say empowering things, meant to brighten someones day.
After doing this art hunt for about four years, we realized it needed a name. We asked our awesome fans on YouTube for help and they did not disappoint.
#inspireasmile captures the essence of why we do these art hunts. Also, it helps us try and collaborate with artists who are interested in doing something similar in their town.
The idea is to spread around some happy, positive, empowering messages, and try to inspire a smile from the world. It seems sometimes, that the world could use it… I know I could use it sometimes.
If you are an artist, or just a person who wants to #INSPIREASMILE feel free to join the movement, use the hashtag, and send us pictures of your art hunt along with information on who you are, where you are, and why you did.
If you are in Pensacola, mark your calendars. Pieces will be hidden in plain sight and some will be a little harder to find, but all will be just for you! I’ll be making some more announcements and releasing clues leading up to and the day of.
Every year I try to do something for my adoptive town and all the amazing people that collect my art. We’ve had open studios where I’ve printed out hundreds of prints to give away, we’ve also given stuff away at live paintings, and every once in a while I donate a piece of art to a charity for auction.
The thing that I enjoy the most is doing the art scavenger hunt. There is something about the mystery and the covert nature of bringing joy to people that totally gets me. It’s a very rogue and unexpected way to bring happiness to a person… Maybe I just enjoy being rogue.
This year, I’ll be releasing about 80 small tree paintings (each signed and numbered) and I will be releasing some hand painted magnets. I designed each one to brighten someone’s day, and bring an unexpected smile to their lips.
All together I will be releasing 180 items all over downtown Pensacola, some in plain sight, some a little harder to find, but all free.
The release date will be in early march (I’ll announce it next week so stay tuned), this means I’ll have to wake up earlier than I would like and cover the city before the morning crowd rushes in.
I recently put a challenge out to find the perfect hashtag for this project, and the winner will receive one of each of the items in the hunt. Please watch this video to enter:
I’ll be releasing more information after the contest finalizes and I have more information. See you soon for the hunt!
I made a change recently to my mural in downtown Pensacola. Although you would think that someone asking me to change my artwork would be offensive, in this case I was honored.
If you remember correctly, I created a large Pensacola mural at 114 Palafox place, which was Marty Campbell Gallery. I wanted to create something that would make people proud of this beautiful place that I’ve fallen in love with.
Originally, I had a multicultural woman’s face as a representation of the diverse culture here.
When Marty moved his gallery back out to Gulf Breeze, I wasn’t sure what was going to happen to the mural. I knew that the property owner loved the mural and would attempt to protect it. She would also need to make her new tenants happy, and if they didn’t like the mural, there was a good chance it would get painted over.
Then, Innerlight Surf Shop moved in, and they loved the mural, but wanted to make one change. They wanted to add Yancy Spencer III. After a beautiful and heartfelt conversation with Lydia (The Late Yancy’s wife), I decided to do it, and it needed to be perfect.
Now, I’m not sure if you know this, but Yancy is regarded as the father of Gulf Coast surfing. Not only that, but he was an amazing human, so I was honored to make the changes.
I know some people, may be upset that I changed an aspect of my original mural, but trust me, I am so thrilled to have painted a legend.
As I sit here looking at my schedule for this weekend, I can’t help but think “Wow, this is pretty awesome!”
Ok, so let’s get right into it, This Friday, it’s all about Gallery Night, graffiti, and a pop up gallery. This Saturday, it’s about a leisurely stroll through a beautiful downtown market. Sunday it’s all about wine, art, and a boardwalk on the water.
What do all these things have in common? Us… Klee and I will be attending and being a part of all three. So, I am inviting you to join us in the fun.
WHAT: Art at the Annex: Graffiti/Street Art PopUp
WHEN: Friday, October 20th, 2017 at 4 PM – 8 PM
WHERE: 13 Palafox Place in downtown Pensacola
HOW MUCH: FREE
WHY: Because it’s awesome, duh.
Leader Art Consultants and cowork annex have partnered to bring an exciting new series of monthly PopUp exhibits to downtown Pensacola’s Gallery Night.
The October @rt at the @nnex PopUp is a celebration of urban contemporary art by local graffiti and street artists. 27 original works by 14 local artists – including a 20 ft. collaborative locker mural by artists Nate Lyle and Brandon Barnhart. Works include everything from graffiti on canvas and found objects to street art inspired abstracts, photographs and video projection.
Nate Lyle | Cheese Rawsteen | Presto St. | Andrew Grasty | Dumb Person | Angelita Poindexter | Rafi Perez | Rachael Pongetti | Cassidy Seibert | Alec Garcia | Lucky Girl | Brandon Barnhart | Sam Earley, Christopher Mills
WHAT: The Palafox Market
WHEN: Saturday, October 21st, 2017 at 9 AM – 2 PM
WHERE: N. Palafox St., in Martin Luther King Jr. Plaza, between Wright St. and Chase St.
HOW MUCH: FREE
WHY: Because it’s awesome, again…
Fresh produce, live plants, baked goods, fine art, and antiques are just a few of the items offered by all of us at the Palafox Market in Downtown Pensacola. Items originate directly from onsite vendors who grow, make, or create the fruits, vegetables, herbs, and art for sale. There is no buy/sell items, they are all awesome and real.
“When you dream, you are free…to be the things you want to be. When you dream, you are free…to see the things you want to see. Sometimes in my dreams I fly, through the starry, starry sky. When I see the moon I laugh, it’s a great big bed for the tall giraffe.” -Anonymous
We know that kids have big imaginations. But sometimes we forget just how powerful they can be. We forget just how much joy and creative fire they can fuel within all of us. To let go of our imagination is to let go of our power to create wonder in the world.
So I created this piece to symbolize what I believe is the power that we can easily misuse as adults. As a kid, I was constantly told to get my head out of the clouds and grow up. Yet the most powerful moments in my life came as a result of allowing myself to dream bigger than what seems to be possible.
I think we all use our imagination… I mean, when you are stressing out about something that hasn’t happened yet, you are using your imagination.
I try to imagine several impossible, amazing things every day. Things that are full of possibility and wonder… Things that make me feel like I can achieve anything.
This little girl symbolizes the power of our imagination and returning to that magical time of being in control of what you picture in your mind. Molding your thoughts into impossible dreams of awesomeness.
I am stoked to announce that she made it into the Cinco Banderas Exhibition at Artel Gallery. If you are in Pensacola, stop by the gallery and see her. Reception for the show is November 4th 2016 from 6pm-8pm at Artel Gallery on Palafox.
“hey, did you ever finish that mural you were working on downtown?”
“Yes… Kinda… Well, I still have to varnish it.”
The mural is officially finished, and ready for your viewing pleasure, but I have to put the protective coating on it. I was going to wait until it got a bit cooler, but based on a recent text message I received, I think I’ll do it next week.
This is kinda how the message went:
James: Hey, I think someone kissed the mural.
Me: Haha, yes, she’s beautiful.
James: No, I mean someone put lipstick on the mural.
Now, I’m not worried about a little lipstick, in fact I’m kind of honored that someone would press their lips to my mural in adoration… but I should probably protect it sooner than later.
So, I’ll be out there around 10am on Friday, October 14th and rolling on the protective layer. The thing I am most looking forward to is the change in contrast that takes place when you varnish something. Deep colors get deeper, and light colors seem to glow, let’s just say, it’s going to look amazing.
To all my peeps in Pensacola, come see it after that date, it should be pretty amazeballs. To all my awesome interweb folks, I’ll take pictures.
I explain my reasoning behind the mural in this video, enjoy: