In-Gallery Rap Project At Hunter Museum’s Free First Sunday

Thursday, January 02, 2014
Up-and-coming rap artist and Chattanooga native Eazy Steve.
Up-and-coming rap artist and Chattanooga native Eazy Steve.

The Hunter Museum of American Art will present an opportunity for the community to go behind the scenes of a unique project, Museum MixTape, involving a live in-gallery rap video shoot with up-and-coming rapper and Chattanooga native Eazy Steve, as part of the festivities during Free First Sunday on Sunday. 

The Hunter Museum forged a partnership with artist Juan Obando, creator of Museum MixTape, a project for a video album in which up-and-coming rappers perform freestyle rhymes as live critiques of museums in the southeast United States.  In 2012, Museum MixTape was selected as one of the 10 projects awarded a commission by the Rhizome Commissions Program at The New Museum.  The goal of this award is to support emerging artists by providing grants for the creation of significant works of new media art and is considered one of the most important recognitions in the field, and is supported by The New Museum, The Jerome Foundation and The National Endowment for the Arts, among others.

“I started exploring the life of cultural spaces around the North Carolina area through video and photography,” said Mr. Obando.  “I was interested in documenting desolated institutional landscapes and empty museum interiors, as the condition of these sites denoted the lack of public engagement in institutional art spaces during a political moment when arts funding in the U.S. had become tense, unstable and negotiable.  I had been concurrently studying the hip-hop subculture that defines a large portion of the young, contemporary cultural aesthetic of the American South -- its forms, platforms, and engaging dynamics.” 

Mr. Obando’s research led him to further contemplate possible scenarios in which this subculture could intersect institutional art spaces around the region and the narratives that such intersection could produce when mediated through collaborative beat-making, digital video and online networking. 

As part of the Museum MixTape project, Mr. Obando will begin shooting video of Eazy Steve rapping at 2 p.m. on Sunday in the contemporary gallery of the Hunter Museum.  Admission is free to the public between hours of 12–4:30 p.m.  Guests are welcome to watch the shoot and may even have the opportunity to participate in the recording, as well as visit all galleries throughout their visit.  The Hunter Museum will also provide crafts for children.  Free First Sunday is made possible by Easy Auto.

Artist and creator of Museum MixTape Juan Obando.
Artist and creator of Museum MixTape Juan Obando.

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