By Mike Dunn
Smoke City Art Show brings together Edmonton graffiti artists for one night
“Man, I’ve been busted for sure, we all have, for whatever they could think of, really.”
Adrian Louden has been working in the world of underground graffiti for over fourteen years, from his earliest efforts tagging parked train cars in Cochrane, to cloaked in hoodies and dark clothes through the alleys and shadows of Edmonton city nights. Louden eventually moved on to graphic design, to creating extensive murals throughout the city, and his love for the style of urban art has never wavered.
“There’s a lot to graff art, whether it’s a message of urban inequities, or new concepts in typesets, or even that someone thought a word just looked cool and wanted to keep it as their tag,” says Louden. “I always wanted to explore graff art in a way that combined my love of the form with the attention to detail that comes with design work.”
Louden mentions that the transience of the art form is a huge draw for him as well. The Smoke City show at The Aviary will see Louden and fellow artists Evan Brunt and Jordan Ernst paint an entire wall in the venue, where it will only be shown for the one night. “See, people forget about trains sometimes, and get locked in to one way of thinking, that it’s all urban artists, but somewhere out in rural Alberta, Saskatchewan, wherever, when the CP and CN trains are stopped for the night, someone’s out there developing their art, only to have it move away from them the next day. There’s a ‘now you see it’ nature to the form, be it the trains leaving town, or the City pressure washing or painting over someone’s work. I’ve always been drawn to that, the idea that a piece of art can be vacated, and that to appreciate it, you need to see it in the moment.”
Smoke City is a one-night show at The Aviary on Thursday, October 4th.Aja Louden, Smoke City Art Show