Austin is the first pop-up city selected by Miami’s Museum of Graffiti

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  • Published on March 14, 2023
  • Last Updated May 15, 2023
  • In Culture

The first pop-up shop of Miami's Museum of Graffiti, the first museum devoted to the collection and display of graffiti art comes to Austin for SXSW.

To coincide with this year’s SXSW festival, the Museum of Graffiti in Miami has opened a pop-up-shop in Austin; however, the exhibit will only be up until the end of the month.

According to KUT, this is one of the first museums ever established that exhibits and documents graffiti art. The building at 809 E. Sixth St. is currently hosting an exhibition titled “The Art of Hip Hop.”

The museum’s co-founder, Allison Freidin, discusses why this month in Austin is so pivotal. “It’s really important for us to tell our story in a city that’s dedicated to music and culture during South by Southwest,” Freidin said. This is the first time the museum has ever traveled to a new location.

In honor of hip hop’s 50th anniversary, “The Art of Hip Hop” showcases the contributions of visual artists – such as graffiti writers, album cover designers, photographers, and logo creators – to the genre’s foundational imagery, as noted by CBS Austin.

“Graffiti is one of the five pillars of hip-hop,” Freidin noted. “It’s our duty and obligation to tell the story and how graffiti intertwines.” MCing, breakdancing, knowledge, and DJing are the other four pillars that are represented at the pop-up, which Freidin said are taught daily during the pop-up.

“Our exhibits are very immersive and kind of make you feel surrounded,” she added. “You’re going to see beautiful photographs of recording artists that everybody knows and loves.”

True followers of the culture know that on August 11, 1973, it all began with a legendary back-to-school party at 1520 Sedgwick Ave. in the Bronx. DJ Kool Herc, the jam’s host and a major pioneer in the game, is credited with developing the genre’s signature sound. Since then, the art form has spread all over the world and established itself as one of the most influential cultural forces in modern society.

The museum will be holding a three-day event from March 10 to 12 at its Mi Campo Artists Lounge, featuring panel discussions, DJ sets, and sales of limited edition merchandise.

On Friday, from 11 AM to 6 PM, you can enjoy dope vibes at the lounge with free cocktails, live graffiti demonstrations, and music by local DJs Bubs Rubino and DJ Notion. There will be a signing with artist Dalek, a design workshop with Casetify, a talk with legendary Wu-Tang rapper Raekwon, and a talk with photographer Danny Hastings on Friday.

The museum will host a discussion with Def Jam Records’ Creative Director Cey Adams, a signing with artist Queen Andrea, a tribute to Dave Trugoy of De La Soul by DJ Maseo, and the unveiling of a mural on Saturday.

On Sunday, there will be a discussion about the hip-hop community in Austin, a breakdancing performance and demonstration by B-Boy City, and a book signing by Talib Kweli.

Given the government’s and media’s negative portrayals of the art form, Freidin says that graffiti’s time in the spotlight was long overdue. She expressed her desire for visitors to take away an appreciation for it with them.

She praised graffiti for its role in creating “so much public art in so many beautiful ways” in cities all over the globe. “It’s really important to document its history and preserve it and exhibit it just like any other art form,” she added.

The exhibit is open until March 28, and visitors of all ages are welcome to attend, so if you’re in the area, be sure to pull up and support something beautiful.


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