The 49507 Project is a POC-LGBTQ and youth-led project, rooted in collaboration, that teaches art and event organizing, and commissions community art for and by people of color in the 49507 neighborhood.

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Can Community Outreach Be Organic?

Can we use art to further activate neighbors, shift power dynamics in historically underserved areas, and more importantly, change the narrative?

The 49507 Project: Joshua Solas

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The 49507 Project: Joshua Solas- Location 3

Project 49507 is a POC-LGBTQ and youth-led project, rooted in collaboration, that teaches art and event organizing, and commissions community art for and by people of color in the 49507 neighborhood.

Can Community Outreach Be Organic?

Can we use art to further activate neighbors, shift power dynamics in historically underserved areas, and more importantly, change the narrative?

Can we plant seeds that will bloom into the south side becoming a Multicultural Arts District?

Joshua Solas

Portrait of Joshua Solas

Picture of Mural Painted by Joshua Solas

Business Social Media/Website info

Instagram: @solasink

Website: SOLASINK.com

Painting by Joshua Solas

Picture of man standing in front of a mural painted by Joshua Solas

Joshua Solas

Joshua Solas is an interdisciplinary artist and designer whose work is often a critical but impartial look on the dynamics of human life. Through self reflection and observational means, the Jamaican artist attempts to document these dynamics in a concise yet complex language that blurs roles of images and words.

Solas received his BFA in Illustration and minor in Graphic Design from Kendall College of Art and Design of FSU in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Solas created the art-brand SOLASINK – through which he continues to challenge the limits of art and deliver the best for his clients. The brand acts as a factory for three main disciplines of art and design: Graphic Design, Illustration and Fine Art. At SOLASINK, Joshua established a career creating art, providing creative consultation, branding and other design needs, as well as creative direction, photography, animation and cover artwork for various international musicians from Jamaica, the US and more. SOLASINK has been responsible for various murals and public art experiences around Grand Rapids, LA and Jamaica including a mural at the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts. 

After college, Joshua spent time between Los Angeles, Jamaica and Michigan. Solas’s work is currently represented by Muse GR. He is currently based in Jamaica.

Who am I? 

While attending KCAD in downtown Grand Rapids, I was afforded many opportunities to become involved in the art scene and further establish a home away from home. While I benefited a lot from my time living in GR, I was able to see and hear the heart-breaking reality of the city and its struggle for progress as far as striving for an equitable society. As someone from Jamaica, I can honestly say my personal experience was different from most of my complexion, but that doesn’t dismiss the struggle our people face. Some of my time in GR was spent making art that opens discussion and highlights issues that the disenfranchised face, as well as sharing ways we can better live with each other. I was able to do this in collaboration with organisations, most notably the Cultura Collective, artist Bryan Kosciolek, Carbon Stories, Irie Kitchen, KCAD and the UICA, Avenue for the Arts, Curator Kendall Redmond, AK Rikks, Chris Fredricks at Grow Up Awesome and MUSE GR.

Liberation-

“I believe the term “Liberation” suggests freedom from previously held limitations. To be more specific to our community, the term suggests a form of independence, the power for all to move through this life freely and safely. In the words of Maya Angelou, “The truth is, no one of us can be free until everybody is free.”

Reclamation-

To me, “Reclamation” is a step towards liberation. In reality, POC and other disenfranchised groups have not been afforded the same opportunities, compassion and resources as the privileged have been given by default.

It may involve not only demanding what is rightfully ours but also pooling our resources together to form our own way.”

 About me-

I like art and long walks on the beach. 

 

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