LA Brickyard Art Tour

Los Angeles, CA

mpu   |   June 07, 2023

What do you see in a blank wall? For these artists, it’s an opportunity, open canvases, and a vision peppered by aerosol spray cans. If you’ve ever lived in or visited major cities in the U.S., you’ve most likely seen graffiti or an eye-catching mural.

On a beaming morning stroll around the colorful Downtown Los Angeles Arts District, +MPU LA Brickyard Captain Jason Mayo hosted a guided art tour led by two top street artists. Over two dozen people between the ages of 9 and 69 showed up to learn about this elusive world and talk about one of +MPU’s core values: +Courage.

We describe +Courage as “standing up for our principles, especially when doing so is unpopular or inconvenient.” Our Brickyard Chapters are hubs for you to engage your community through service projects, civic education, and local events. And it’s also where we share authentic conversations and where everyone’s voice matters.

While the members heard about the inner workings of a graffiti artist’s vision and how some culturally-enriched pieces came to be, we ask you to take a moment to think about what +Courage means to you.

To be a graffitist means displaying your work in the open. Anyone can judge, praise, paint over, or tear down hours of work anytime. And behind every graffitist is an unseen, turbulent, and underground history evolving beyond decades of stolen paint cans and fighting to be seen and heard in their community through their art. This meant carving out a spot for themselves with skills that give them their street credibility.

As unassuming as it may be, anyone can display this +Courage in their day-to-day lives. A few of the LA members were front-line workers during the height of COVID, and their uneasiness at the time was palpable — yet they still showed up to do the job.

In the midst of such stories, the members took in the modern art around them: reclaimed cans and nails haphazardly hammered into telephone poles, stickers slapped onto any imaginable surface as alternatives to tagging, small sculptures dangling off traffic poles, artists bolting in their name for their signature sign-off, or scrap metal amalgamations stuck into the sidewalk to weather out the elements.

To everyone who also showed up and sold out this event, we thank you for having the +Courage to go to an event full of strangers and share your story with people who you might not have met otherwise.

If you, the reader, would like to be more involved with the LA Brickyard, we invite you to become a member to be included in the upcoming events around the area.