Street Art Festival Reflects Urban Life

Originally published on November 7, 2015 (Rivard Report)


Photos by Kay Richter.


Content Under Pressure (CUP) will return to the Paint Yard at 525 San Pedro Ave., and this year’s three-day aerosol arts festival will build on its original foundations by focusing on community vitalization.

The festival, in its fifth year, is planning to showcase 80 local and international artists in a live exchange and exposition of creativity. It begins this week with mural painting on Tuesday, Nov. 10 along the St. Mary’s strip. On Saturday, Nov. 14 through Sunday, Nov. 15 the festival will be free and open to members of the public at the Paint Yard. The  Universal Style School (USS), founded by local artist, Beatriz Rodriguez, aka ‘Triz is hosting in partnership with the Paint Yard. She hopes to shift the focus of the festival by bringing light to youth and education.

(To read more about her background, go to the Rivard Report article here.)

“As we build upon the previous years’ foundations of CUP, we aim to create greater accessibility for all kinds of artists and creative people of the city,” Rodriguez said.

An example of a mural by the artist known as 'Real Tres.' The artist is originally from Monterrey, Mexico and travels frequently to participate in festivals within the United States. Courtesy Image.
An example of a mural by the artist known as “Real Tres.” Courtesy Image.

The desire to open the festival to all artists and creative individuals brings attention not only to the aerosol and mural artists, but also hopes to engage the public in what these activities mean for urban life. That structure brings a series of street artists from around the country and the state. Mr. Maxx Moses aka ‘Pose2’ is a New York aerosol legend who recently painted at the HUE Mural Festival. His works combine American nostalgia and popular art with social critique in an effort to promote balance in urban life.

Also featured at the HUE Mural Festival was “Real Tres” , an artist originally from Monterrey, Mexico, who has painted murals for more than 20 years. ‘Dote’, another artists originally from Guanajuato, Mexico will be painting with his compadre from the South.

These muralists are joined by ‘SANO’ coming from Los Angeles via Cleveland. ‘SANO’ brings a fresh multicultural perspective and has been painting since 1983. Another aerosol legend that is expected to attend CUP is Nathan ‘Sloke’ Nordstrom. He is coming down from his home base of Austin. Sloke has produced art professionally since the ’90s. Also featured is ‘Wizart’ aka ‘Spoke’ representing traditional Bronx flavors and styles of graffiti and characters.

San Antonio aerosol legend Nik Soupe will also be in attendance. He is joined by Aks Albert Gonzalez, Amen, Bakon, Bario, Big, Bleek, Cazu, Comik, Dask, Deleted, Dzir, Eks1, Empire, Exes, Exor, Gasp, Genius, Gens, Grek, Hazer, Hyper Won, Ink, Jerk, Kato, Mike Comp, Niz, Nola, Nsane, Paul Garson, Pilot, Proph, Rage, Reloz, Remote, Richard Castillo, Risky, Siete, Soler, Supher, Symmbl, Trey, Trubi, Viego, w3r3on3, Wave and Zitro.

The live painting begins at 10 p.m. on Friday evening at the Appliance Warehouse (500 Carolina St.). The festival begins again on Saturday, Nov. 14 at noon with DJ Vicious spinning at the Paint Yard. The aerosol and mural artists will begin painting at the Paint Yard as well. At 2 p.m. on Saturday, a total of 13 street photographers will host an opening reception at the TPY Urban Gallery for a group exhibit, titled as “Concrete.” It will run through Dec. 6, showing not only local talent, but also photographers from the Dallas and Chicago regions.

“With a focus on urban landscape, street portraits, urban exploration and graffiti, these photographers will bring you pieces of your everyday surroundings that traditionally go unnoticed,” said Curator Rene Amado. “These stories can go untold, especially with places that go for long amounts of time as uninhabited.”

Nik Soupe poses for a photo next to his jazz inspired mural that he completed in April of 2014. Photo by Kay Richter.
Nik Soupe poses for a photo next to his jazz inspired mural that he completed in April of 2014. Photo by Kay Richter.

From 5 p.m. till 6:30 p.m. there will also be a panel discussion of the featured painters. The topic relates to the transformative potential of arts and culture. From 9 p.m. till 1 a.m., there will be an after-party jam featuring live painting and dj performances on four turntables. The party will be at the famous TacoLand located at 103 W. Grayson Street.

DJ Vicious and D-Teknics will be spinning and local emcees Kree23 and Evolve (featuring DJ Mike Nyse) will be joined by TripleSeven from Miami and the Bronx. On Sunday, Nov. 15 is a community block party and Awareness Jam, located at the Paint Yard. The Awareness Jam is free and open to the public. It includes hands on art activities for all ages with food vendors and live music through out the day. The dance portion of the festival begins at 2 p.m., with a breakbeat jam and workshop led by Bgirl ‘Star’ hailing from the Bronx, Omar MZK, and Trigger Illest Rockers.

The last half of Sunday consists of live musical performances by local artists and emcees. The participating photographers and their Instagram accounts are listed here:

The San Antonio artist known as Nik Soupe works on finishing a mural at a paint festival located in Houston. Photo by Kay Richter.
Nik Soupe works on finishing a mural at a paint festival located in Houston. Photo by Kay Richter.

Adolf Acosta
Alan Penuelaz
Andrew Medina
Aphro Oner
Blue Hernandez
Christopher Perez
Cory Rodriguez 
Michelle Gonzales
Jaime Hudson
Ozzy Ordonez
Rene Amado

The list of sponsors for the festival are Texas Unique Music, Valspar, Montana, Ironlak, Pabst Blue Ribbon, GEMM Construction, DJ Vicious, and Smiles of San Antonio Dental office. For more information and the full schedule for the three-day festival, please reference the Facebook event page. Vendors are also encouraged to contact organizers for vending opportunities by email at