The Crossroads Arts District is living up to cosmic form with a five-day, street-art celebration of the upcoming total eclipse called Solanoir.
Thirty street artists from around the country and the world have been invited to paint murals on two dozen buildings around the downtown district.
The festival begins Wednesday and its celestial culmination occurs Aug. 21 when the moon covers the sun at 1:08 p.m. in Kansas City.
Artist Jason Harrington aka Rif Raf Giraffe said he, his wife Ami and friend Mark Allen wanted to do something special to honor the spiritual and creative energy of the rare total eclipse.
“We tried to create one event and use the eclipse to jumpstart what we hope will be an annual event,” Harrington said.
With the help of Matt Abbott, a Crossroads property owner and developer, Solanoir was inspired by Wynwood Boulevard in Miami, a world-renowned hot spot for street art. Every year, street artists from around the world fly to Miami after Thanksgiving to create.
“Matt flew there and came back and said it was amazing,” Harrington said.
Harrington is a native of Kansas City. He left for Chicago where he attended the Art Institute of Chicago and remained there for about a decade before returning here in 2013.
He did his first mural at Affare, a Crossroads restaurant, and has since done several works both outdoors and inside. His studio is at 504 E. 18th St., close to Art Alley, a cornucopia of street art off 18th Street between Cherry and Locust.
Each day of Solanoir, artists will be at work creating their visions. There will be other activities as well including a kickoff party at Lifted Spirits, Aug. 17; an Arts and Craft Beer Crawl, Aug. 19; a Fashion Gallery, Aug. 18, and a Made in KC Lot Party with music and food trucks, Aug. 19.
Harrington said there will be a film team documenting the event and local funding is helping to underwrite Solanair. For completion information, visit the Solanoir website.
The Crossroads Arts District already has a vivid concentration of street art murals in Art Alley, here’s a sampling:
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This event was not inspired by Wynwood, but rather, is a rip-off of the Kansas City Masterpiece Mural project held in early June. The Masterpiece project celebrated the deep roots of street art in Kansas City. It was created by the local artists who wanted to celebrate the originality of the culture and stayed true to its deepest form. Mr.Harrington is a puppet for corporate magnets, like Abbott Properties, and this event makes a mockery of the street art culture. Solanior is filled with sub-par Cartoon characters and Anime figures which are a representation of Pop culture, everything true street artists stand against. I hope this is not the direction Kansas City chooses to stand behind as it is not a good, or original look, for this great city.
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