One of the hottest trends in art — graffiti/street art — is making its way to Hanford's Kings Art Center, 605 N. Douty St., at 1-5 p.m. Saturday.

The exhibit, #INSIDERS, is a group show of California-based artists whose work portrays contemporary graffiti as well as street and public art. There will also be live demonstrations.

I talked with guest curator Ronnie Wrest about the upcoming exhibit.

Question: How many artists will show their work for the #INSIDERS exhibition?

Answer: About 16 artists.

Q: Are all the artists from California? Are any from Hanford?

All but one which is from New York. We have a good mix of local artists from Hanford, Lemoore, Visalia and Fresno as well as a couple from the Bay area and Los Angeles. It is a really well-rounded representation of styles.

Q: It sounds like there will be more things going on for the opening reception. Can you tell me a bit about those other things including the live graffiti demonstrations?

Yes, we will have some artists doing some live painting demonstrations and a DJ playing live music.

Q: Do you feel as though graffiti and street art is finally gaining some mainstream acceptance?

This is a tough question to answer. I think that portions of these activities have been accepted for years. Some street artists and artists who's work derived from graffiti are some of the driving force in contemporary art today. The MOCA in Los Angeles had a 30 year survey of graffiti and street art in 2011. Street artist Banksy has had multiple pieces sell at auction in excess of $1 million in recent years. These are just a coupe examples of acceptance, but they are only a portion of the work. The real question is when graffiti inspired work is made to be hung in a gallery or museum is it still graffiti?

Q: What can people expect from the #INSIDERS exhibition?

A: I think people can expect to be surprised. I think there is such a negative stigma attched to the illegal side of graffiti that they don't realize there is a whole genre and movement of studio artists making valid and important contemporary art that is derivative of graffiti. I feel this show is a good representation of this niche of contemporary work and I hope it will show people that there may be more to graffiti than what they know.

The reporter can be reached at 583-2423 or pmenting@hanfordsentinel.com. Follow him on Twitter @HanfordPete.

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