If blood runs thicker than water, paint is definitely thicker than blood. Connected through nothing but paint, each year artists from around the country and world gather at the floodwall for Paint Louis- a weekend of painting, connection and everything St. Louis. Crews gather, local artists gear up and travelers hit the road to meet in the Lou. Although the event was scheduled to run Friday, September 11th- Sunday, September 13th, artists and writers started arriving Thursday to start busting out their pieces. Over a mile and a half of our city’s three-mile riverfront floodwall was sectioned off for officially registered individuals and crews. Pets, kiddos and parents all come and go throughout the weekend in support of their artists, keeping the rowdy free for all that is Paint Louis just PG-13 enough to still be family friendly.
At the beginning of the weekend, the buffing begins and the wall slowly becomes a blank canvas again. Bit by bit, day by day, the artists carve out their visions with cans and brushes. Crews from across the country, including LD, MFK, CMS, X-Men, KMS and more plan a production featuring individual pieces from each writer. This street style is dominant but murals from local and traveling artists (Mexico and Germany were in the house this year) can be seen sprinkled in between. No one sleeps. The beer keeps flowing. The weed keeps burning. The cans keep shaking. The wall transforms. It’s an event, hell it’s an entire weekend, to go hard or go home.
Nestled between the river and the tracks, Paint Louis is everything STL. The wall to the East. The Arch rising above the river to the North, tracks stretching for miles to the South. You feel the grime, the heart, the crossroads that is Saint Louis.