WATERFORD Walls Street Art Festival welcomed an astounding 30 national and international artists across 10 days for the 2022 renewal of the world’s most colourful festival. This year’s event ran from August 12 to 21 and featured 30 walls across the city and county being completely transformed.
Artists from all five continents arrived into Waterford via planes, trains and buses to join the street art spectacle and, with the support of some generous sponsors, including Colourtrend, Hills Art, Montana, The Forum, Number 21, Rapid Cabs, The Fitzwilton, Fitzgerald Power, City Square and many more, covered forlorn gable ends and playgrounds with eye-popping, enriching artwork. With the support of Waterford Council and the local community, Waterford has now added an astonishing 30 new artworks to its street art collection, many with deeper meanings and touching on pressing themes of our times, including migration, education, climate change and energy efficiency.
2022’s festival programme was officially launched at the Fitzwilton Hotel in late July, along with details of the artists, the volunteer programme and the expanded mentoring programme that has been sponsored by Rapid Cabs. This year has seen the introduction for the first time of a Festival Hub based at the Forum that has seen workshops, jam walls, tours, music and, most of all, fun. The Forum itself now boasts an impressive collection of 15 street art works by artists from Ireland, the UK, France, Spain, the USA, Italy, Brazil and Australia.
On Paddy Brown’s Road a little boy’s dream came true when his favourite book was painted on the walls of the Library. French artists Zabou and Juliette Viodé designed a portrait of local boy Senan and a fox inspired by, ‘The Little Prince’. Senan’s family visited the wall to see it first hand and to meet the artists. The project was funded by Creative Ireland and Waterford City and County Council.
Another fantastic community project was based just up the road on Ballybeg Green, opposite South East Technical University. ACT Waterford with Calmast teamed up with the Waterford Walls artists and Bloom The Art Project to host workshops and painting sessions with the local community. The long stretch of wall opposite the university depicts energy symbols, encouraging the community to be more conscious of their energy use.
The team at the Walls Project – the organisers behind the festival – will begin their artist application for 2023 in early October, and wall owners are now welcome to start submitting their walls. Waterford Walls is supported and funded by Waterford City & County Council, who have designated it one of their five Flagship Festivals, and The Arts Council of Ireland.
For more information about the festival visit www.wallsproject.ie or check them out on social media.