Artists in the Garden go all in for Basquiat theme

Melissa Smith will be painting live at August Artists in the Garden.

ARTISTS in the Garden this Sunday 6 August, is all about Basquiat.

“For this month’s meeting the focus is on the gifted American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat,” Artists in the Garden director Tammy Mills-Thom told News Of The Area.

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“His neo-expressionist style is now well-recognised; Deborah Harry of Blondie bought a painting from him in the early 1980s for $200, and in 2017 one of his paintings sold for $110 million.”

“Basquiat painted on anything he could get his hands on: refrigerators, laboratory coats, cardboard boxes, and doors,” said Mary Ann Monforton, a house-share friend of the artist.

“Basquiat was a genius, and we certainly don’t expect to be painting anything as wonderful as his work, but that doesn’t mean we can’t try to tap into his fearless neo-expressionist enthusiasm and steal his symbols and colours,” Artists in the Garden director James P Gilmour told NOTA.

“You could even bring your own t-shirt as fabric.”

Paint will be available as well as other mediums for experimenting, such as acrylic paint, crayon, chalk, and graphite.

“Basquiat was in a band named ‘Gray’, after Gray’s Anatomy, which deconstructed sounds and melodies; musicians are part of Artists in the Garden and this event will again feature the guitar improvisation of Jaiden Whitton,” said Gilmour.

Regular artist Phillip Simpson is excited for the Basquiat focus.

“Peace, love, and oneness has always been what I have worked toward.

“I loved the way Basquiat battled through prejudice and barriers.

“I am bringing Basquiat-influenced paintings and a couple of very quirky suitable pottery heads; one called Nonna or Yaya with the tongue poking out.

“I have always been a cheeky, funny artist,” he said.

The diversity of the event includes spoken word artist Amy Robinson, once again bringing her thought-provoking poetry.

Nature Photographer Mark West, a passionate nature photographer who will display his work, said, “I don’t have to look far to see the wonders of nature, it’s right here around us, waiting to be discovered”.

He says his up-close photography “requires a lot of patience, especially when dealing with animals.

“Just waiting for the perfect moment requires dedication, but sometimes luck plays a part too.”

Mark’s photos will be available for purchase as prints.

Award-winning artist Melissa Smith said, “I will be painting live and am looking forward to seeing people coming to enjoy the talent of our community”.

Artist and change maker, Atalanta Lloyd- Haynes will also be leading a workshop on creative action to address issues of climate change.

Artists in the Garden is a free art-inspired event that takes place on the first Sunday of the month in Coffs’ Botanic Garden from midday until 3pm.

For more information, visit the website at or facebook group ‘Artist in the Garden’.


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