The Sawyer Yards campus is home to many murals by local, national, and international artists. Some have been commissioned by the property owners and Sawyer Yards, but the majority of the murals, including all of the works in our Art Alley, were organized and coordinated by UP Art Studio in conjunction with their city-wide annual mural festival: Big Walls, Big Dreams.
MrDheo is a Portugal-based street artist. He first experienced graffiti art at the age of fifteen, and soon his drawings turned into countless letter studies. Months later he did his first street painting and started to meet other artists to whom he related, and that motivated him to carry on. Today – after two decades of continuous work – Mr.Dheo already made interventions in over fifty cities all over the world.
RAGE JOHNSON was born in Miami, FL & raised in the heart of its art and music scene in the 1980’s. Rage was the first poster boy of graffiti in South Florida. The city of Miami organized an anti-Graffiti business named R.A.G.E. ( Residents Against Graffiti Everywhere ) after him in his early adolescent years. Later on, Johnson started a company, entitled “Murals & Such”, and became one of the first “street” artists to help connect property owners and corporate America with muralists to tackle their large scale walls around the world.
Mez is known for richly-colored portraits and figurative paintings. Samples of his work can be found on the streets, in restaurants, and throughout homes across America. Born just outside Chicago but raised in Texas, Mez attended the Art Institute of Houston.
The complex range of Mez’s styles can be summed up in a couple of key works. His ‘Susanna Dickenson and Child’ piece found in the historic town of Gonzales, Texas, showcases his ability to create fine art that highlights more than just the obvious; and his “Third Eye Cigarette Guys” portrays seemingly aggressive characters that have a way of radiating subtle emotion and distinct personality with every twinkle of the eye.
In 1996 Mez was a young artist who created his first graffiti piece under a bridge along some railroad tracks. Always inspired and motivated by the works he saw through, illustration, comics, graffiti and fine art he worked over the years to hone his skill every chance that he got. After years of cutting his teeth and developing his style, he is now a member of two legendary graffiti collectives, Time Is Too Short from California and the crew that put Texas on the map, No Boundaries.
As a lifelong student of art, Mez will never stop learning. He continues to perfect his craft by focusing on highly rendered, sometimes photorealistic pieces. In the future, he plans to produce more canvas work and looks forward to unveiling them in galleries alongside some of his favorite contemporaries.
Jeks, a graffiti and mural artist from Greensboro North Carolina USA, has made a name for himself globally with his hyper realistic monochromatic portraits, as well as massive full color pieces. The amount of meticulous detail, smooth gradients, emotion and saturation in his pieces set him apart from other artists in the realism field. He has painted hundreds of walls across the US as well as Colombia and Canada which have become beloved community landmarks. Between painting commissioned and independent eye popping new murals each month, technical graffiti burners and a relentless hunger to push the envelope, he is on his way to become a well known and sought after name in the public art world.
Bublegum started to paint in 2004 and it has remained his passion through today. In 2014 he moved to Barcelona where he currently works. His evolution has always been self-taught, specializing in realism and mixing it with elements of graffiti.
In recent years, he has participated in international festivals and exhibited in galleries around the world. Bublegum, continues to bring freshness to the graffiti scene, thinking about what the next piece will be and how to beat the previous one.
Spok Brillor (b. 1978) is an artist for over 20 years, has created more than 30 public works, and has exhibited in more than 10 countries. He is known for his hyper-realistic technique and his usage of grandiose formats.
Licensed in Fine Arts by the end of the 20th century, his artistic inquisitiveness emerged in the 90’s graffiti. With time and effort, Spok achieved his very own unique style in a little under 9 years, from 1994 to 2003, by “bombing” trains and walls while representing his local crew from Madrid, TBC. Subsequently, he began carrying out private projects, and traveling to places like Mexico, Buenos Aires, Hong Kong and Miami to paint murals for pleasure.
Czr Prz is an urban contemporary artist working in sculptural fabrication, large-scale aerosol murals, and all manner of design. Born and raised in working class Chicago, Prz’s 20 year creative career has spanned America all the way to Europe. Across their multifaceted media, Prz’s artworks tell stories in the folklorico tradition instilled by his Latino-Caribbean upbringing.
Prz recovered from Hodgkins Lymphoma in 2015, a battle that halted his trips abroad, and resumed his creative practice without missing a beat. In the past year alone, Prz has painted murals for CATAN in Albany Park, and Paint Memphis Fest in Tennessee. Prz’s fine art fabrication work has been shown at Modern Eden Gallery in San Francisco and Epiphany Center for the Arts, where he’s the curator behind Idol Hands, a group show centered around craft on view through Feb. 2022. Prz is also one half of Ava Grey, a creative firm based in Chicago’s South Side.
Jake Merten is a self taught artist, born in Chicago, IL. He began painting canvas and mural work upon moving to Los Angeles in 2011, and has continued to travel and install public work across the country since.
Daniel Joseph Bombardier (Born September 27 1976) is a Canadian pop artist and muralist whose aerosol and stencil art works critique contemporary politics, capitalism, consumerism and the human condition, under the artist's pseudonym and alter ego DENIAL. His artistic career began in 1999 when he became involved in the graffiti and street art movement. DENIAL’ studio is based in the border city of Windsor, Ontario, Canada next to Detroit, Michigan. He spends much of the year traveling, painting murals, and exhibiting throughout North America and internationally. He has had solo shows in Detroit, New York, Chicago, Houston, Austin, New York, Toronto, Melbourne, Dubai, Miami and Vancouver. DENIAL is also very active in painting large scale murals and street art which often depict bold, bright, subversive pop-inspired imagery.
In 1999, Daniel adopted the moniker 'DENIAL' as a means of poking fun at advertising, politics and media messages that contemporary society is often 'in denial' about. Since then he has maintained an ongoing global street-campaign of over 500, 000 stickers, placards, and murals using the alpha-numeric characters 'D3N!@L'. Intended as a conceptual means of marketing absurdism, DENIAL also challenges traditional notions of graffiti and public art through his dynamic and often satirical visual subversions. A self described subversive punk pop artist, DENIAL’ works challenge the comfortably numb consumer masses by holding up a mirror up to the viewer using comedic artistic expression, wit and provoking imagery in a unique, unforgettable aesthetic.
In 2012 Daniel started 'Free 4 All Walls' which is the largest public art project of its kind in South West Ontario. Bringing artists from around the world to beautify and re-invigorate public walls around downtown Windsor, the government funded program has been a huge success in supporting the local community and promoting the value of street-art in contemporary society. The now self-funded project is ongoing into 2019.