Birdcap a.k.a Michael Roy is muralist and illustrator from Escatawp, Mississippi, who calls his suitcase home. Painting from place to place, leaving installations along the way, his skills have taken him as far as Tokyo, Germany, Tel Aviv and beyond. While living in Seoul, South Korea Roy grew dedicated to producing street art after witnessing people spray painting at a site being prepared for demolition.
His work is inspired by a global mix of religious and mythological themes, combined with his love of Hip Hop and fond memories of the Saturday morning cartoons he watched as a kid. Taking visual and narrative cues from the places he travels, Roy’s work builds on the continual accumulation of cultural experiences he’s afforded as a transient being.
Sent to Lansing on a torpedo from Toledo (OH), Spiz One has been in the five one seven for the past thirteen years. He’s on record saying he loves to smile. Not only is he very merry, but he can marry you too. He’s ordained! Spiz is a man of many talents: a Minister, a muralist, musician, and an award winning tattoo artist too. He thrives in simplicity...the man still has a flip phone. He’s often described as easy going, friendly and extremely creative.
Born in Kathmandu, Nepal, Imagine876, a.k.a. Sneha Shrestha, reps her culture by combining elements of American graffiti with aesthetics of Sanskrit scriptures. Her moniker is inspired by her mother’s name, Kalpana, which means imagination in Nepali. The significance of her heritage shines through in the vibrant mindful mantras she creates, scripted in her native language. In addition to being a passionate artist, Imagine876 is a dedicated educator. Having received her Master’s in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, she’s a certified expert on addressing the intersections of creativity, learning and innovative social impact.
Some of her previous accomplishments include helping establish Nepal’s first children’s art museum, working with Artist for Humanities and serving as 2018 Boston Artist in Residence. Imagine876's impressive list of clients include Reebok, Montana Cans, Trip Advisor, Neiman Marcus and Red Bull, and her works are on walls around the world including Boston, San Francisco, Bali, Istanbul, Geneva and Copenhagen.
One of Chi-town’s finest muralists, Max Sansing’s aesthetic fuses the dynamic color-drenched playfulness of street art with the technical elegance of photorealism. As a youth, he was heavily influenced by both of his artistic parents and being involved in graffiti crews. He taught himself how to paint with oils and later received his formal training at the American Academy of Art. Having benefited from his exposure to arts and varying forms of education, Sansing is deeply committed to supporting his community, particularly in his involvement with numerous youth programs that extend artistic opportunities to underserved areas.
In 2017, he was awarded ‘Best Street Artist’ by Best of Chicago! Sansing is frequently commissioned to create large-scale murals and experiential installations across the country. His work has been featured in gallery shows and special events in Chicago, New York, and Miami among others.
Dustin Hunt, a.k.a. Muralmatics, has obsessions with typography, hip-hop and mathematics that bleed into the compositions he creates. While maintaining the balance between fresh and funky, his works are an attempt to order and bring equilibrium to the human spirit. As an art school dropout, graffiti enthusiast turned Lansing Community College student to Michigan State University transfer, turned certified teacher with a decade's worth of experience providing high-quality Art Education to underserved communities in Portland, OR. Minneapolis, MN. and now Lansing MI, Muralmatics has certainly come a very long way!
Dustin blends his knowledge of art education and math with his experience in street art to provide youth opportunities to build their creative confidence and strengthen their understanding of math. It's a simple formula really: Mural[s] + [mathe]matics = Muralmatics.
Samskee is South Side Lansing representer who grew up immersed in academics and classical music. Don’t get it twisted though: he’s always had a knack for depicting the fantastically absurd, less refined, and sometimes weirder side of things in his doodles. His passion for art was always present, but he truly began honing his craft in 2003 after discovering spray paint as a creative medium. Intrigued by its versatility, he soon after became a full-fledged fanatic.
This obsession caused Samskee to change majors in college and obtain a Bachelors degree in Digital Media:Interactive Design from Kendall College of Art and Design. Prior to Below the Stacks Samskee has used his skills to help foster creativity locally by collaborating with the Ingham County Land Bank to host a community painting event. Residents were provided with a week-long opportunity to paint the courtyard interior of a defunct motel. The courtyard’s exterior was painted by Samskee along with other artists from Lansing, Detroit, Chicago, and even as far as South Korea! This event sparked what would become REO Town’s Art Attack.
Over the years, Sentrock a.k.a. Joseph Perez, has gained a reputation for creating works with bright color schemes and intense lettering. A firm believer that “art cannot deny the environment that it is in,” Perez pays homage to his hometown of Phoenix, AZ by outfitting many of his attention-grabbing characters with Cardinal masks. In 2012, Perez flew the coop to pursue a Bachelors of Art & Design at Columbia College in Chicago, IL.
Recently, this Bird City Saint launched a creative community workspace that provides open studio access to those in need of a stimulating environment. Additionally, young adults are provided with internship opportunities here.
Sydney G. James
Detroit bred, illustrative fine artist Sydney G. James began her career as an ad agency Art Director after earning her BFA with an illustration concentration from the College of Creative Studies in 2001. In 2004, Sydney relocated to Los Angeles expanding her career as a visual artist in the film and television industry, earned a masters degree in secondary art education and evolved her commercial artistry to a life as a fine artist. Sydney returned to Detroit in 2011 and since has become one of the leading creative change agents. By participating in a multitude of community arts projects, Sydney extended her career to mural painting. She has completed murals in Detroit, New Orleans, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Honolulu and Ghana. Sydney takes on every project with the intent to evoke emotion in her viewers and hopefully cause positive change.
Wingchow is a Richmond (VA) representer who makes highly recognizable works comprised of cloud-like, amorphous forms. These colorful blobs and swirly shapeshifting manifestations are tied to her interest in human viscera and create a visual metaphor for the parts of people that we do not see. When it comes to her art, it’s safe to say she goes with her gut!
Her distinct style allows for the creation of delightfully strange and organic matter that can remain abstract or take shape in the figurative realm. Wingchow's murals are influenced by themes of nature, mystery, playtime, transformation, spiritual leanings, and day-to-day life. With her art, Wingchow aims to make something strange yet alluring. She seeks to beautify, to inspire and to bring about understand via wild imagination.
Chris Shim aka Royyal Dog has over ten years of practice painting walls all over the world. Born in Korea and based in Los Angeles, Royyal Dog is a muralist with roots in street art and graffiti. He possesses a level of can control only held by true masters of the craft. He has perfected his photorealism technique and is a muralist in high demand, frequently commissioned to paint large scale portraits of pop culture icons, comic book characters and political figures. His most recent portraits depict African American girls and women dressed in traditional Korean hanbok, an idealized portrait of multiculturalism.
Wjari Alvarez aka WERC is a public artist who was born in Ciudad Juarez, in the Mexican state of Chihuahua. Though currently based out of New York City, WERC grew up in El Paso, Texas. His culturally diverse background bleeds vibrancy in to the art he creates, which is used as a way to place attention on global conversations surrounding immigration laws/rights. WERC possesses a strong passion for his creative platform as a way of facilitating the beautification of public spaces, encouraging community empowerment and bringing healing to those in need.