All great Adventures start with a message. This time it was Marty Kotis sending me the invite to come back to Greensboro North Carolina. Since I have already spent some days in Greensboro last year I knew this will be an intense time of non-stop painting, therefore I recruited Skatin Chinchilla to join my on this adventure.
After 24 hours of traveling we arrived in Greensboro with around 6 hour delay and on top of that our luggage had landed at a different location. We arrived at our accommodation at 1am and were greeted by the great Keif. She came up to Greensboro to have a look how things are going and decided to help us with our Projects, we knew right away that she will be golden after she proposed driving us to the next store for some beers and snacks! It’s the fine details that make the difference.
The next day we went shopping. The basic things for the wall and late afternoon I started with the sketch. It took us 3 days to finish the two 13 by 21 feet frames. We packed in the color really hard on some sections up to 4 layers. We got rained out a few times at the wall. In the end, the result speaks for itself. The Wall is located at 1430 Westover Terrace. It is certainly worth more than one visit.
On day 4 it was all about the preparation of my main mission, the Cross walk.
As a European without a driver’s license it can be a task to get around in America. Once you leave downtown the sidewalk becomes smaller and narrower, to the point where it is nonexistent. Same for the crosswalk, you get a rough 19 seconds to make it over a massive stretch, while cars still pass over it due to the green light. As I received the invite from Marty with the note, “What else instead of a wall would you like to paint?“ I had only one thing in mind, a crosswalk!
We looked at a few spots where a crossing would work. Sadly there was not enough time to get the city council onboard. So the crossing had to be on private property. Throughout my first three days I painted my mural next to a parking lot. During that time I noticed that even in this location it can be a challenge to cross the entrance and exit of this lot due to the none stop traffic. Presented with this spot as a possible location, I had to say yes immediately.
The biggest challenge was ahead. We bought a street primer and around 18 gallons of street paint. Due to the heavy traffic we had to start at 7pm. On the 4th night we put down the base layer for the painting. While on the following night we could start with the colors and start the patterns and text. At 5am we were finished and extremely happy about the outcome . . . until two minutes later it started to rain heavily for a short yet frustrating 15 minutes. This downpour destroyed about 40% of the art.
The following day we had to get new paint for the touch-ups and started painting again at 8pm. Nine hours later the two street crossings were finished. We added a non-slip varnish to roughen up the surface and make it safer for pedestrians.
You might say to yourself painting from 8pm till 5 am sounds easy… at least, I was thinking that to myself. So I made sure to get up early every day and paint all day. On top of these two projects I painted a canvas, a trailer, 2 pieces. If there was nothing else to paint on, I assisted Skatin with his big wall.
A special highlight of this trip was the Barn Battler from Kotis Street Art, We arrived totally worn out from painting all day and every day in the sun. If the Multi-Syndicate Crew is in the house (barn) a few cold beers and screams out the word BATTLE! We are back on 110% and more! Our good soul Keif made a demonstration how the pros stab a spray can so on the count of 3,2,1 I was covered head to toe in Chrome. To be fair she told me a few times I might wish to take off my MSC crew jacket… The Battle was followed by the most amazing dinner ever, I guess we all won this battle.
Sadly we were already on our last day in Greensboro during the day we finished off our last projects and at night I painted a commission for Rockersprintshop. This wall is located at the Southend Brewing co. Once again we went to sleep at 4am and awoke again at 9am to make the best of the last hours.
We already looked forward to a nice sleep on the flight home. Arrived in Philadelphia we only had one last long flight ahead but as we sat down to go to dream land the pilot told us that there is a small computer that has to be replaced. It may only take 5min… 5 houers later they canceled the flight with no further assistance, so we spent the night at the airport before flying to Chicago and then back to Zürich. 42 hours after we left Greensboro we were back Home and to round things up they lost our luggage again… But if this is the price for the amazing time we had then; I am happy to do it all again, no questions asked.
This whole cross walk project would not have been made possible without the great help of Keif with her in-depth knowledge of materials her help and the crazzy idea to make two crossings... Massive thanks as well to my buddy Skatin for his hard work and motivation from the first to the last day. A big thanks to Kotis Street Art for the support and the possibility to realise something of this scale and pushing the limitations of murals from walls to our feet. A huge thanks to Peggy Butcher for the great images and documentation of this unique project.
Eric Kevorkian, Gina, Raman, Rockersprintshop you rock!
Make sure to read the full report on the cross walk on BrooklyStreetArt