On its third edition, the Walk & Talk Festival of public art was held on São Miguel island, through the month of July, with a huge success.
Founded in 2011 by Azorean art entrepreneurs Diana Sousa (27) and Jesse James (25), the event is now part of the international art scene and will continue to attract art enthusiasts from around the world.
This year, over 60 invited artists from 12 countries showcased their public art interventions. Last year 80 artists from 11 nationalities have participated in the festival. As a result, São Miguel island was turned into a public art museum with over 100 urban art interventions (photo slide show below).
Featured artists include renowned Alexandre Farto a.k.a. Vhils (Portugal), Bordalo II (Portugal), Draw (Portugal), Sofia de Medeiros (Azores), Cyrcle (USA), Pelucas (Spain), Eltono (France), Lucy McLauchlan (UK), Giacomo Mezzadri (Italy) and Topocopy (Venezuela) among many others. Last year, world acclaimed muralists Mark Jenkins (USA) and Okuda and REMED (Spain) where among the invited artists.
While some visitors to the island will be surprised to find its unique arts environment, others will recognize the island as a non-conventional tourism destination for its singular outdoors public art displays which can be enjoyed freely.
To accommodate this newly found interest, the Walk & Talk Festival organizers have formed a partnership with the Bensaúde Group, a local hotel and tourism operator, to provide tourists with Walk & Talk four-hour guided tours.
A nonprofit organization, the Walk & Talk project is already planning next year’s festival. Although all artists participate voluntarily, the needs are demanding. From providing the logistics to supplying artists with free materials – from a paintbrush to a scaffold or a crane – the task is not easy. Volunteers, sponsors and donors are welcome.
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Images by Rui Soares, courtesy of Walk & Talk Festival