In cooperation with Einbeck Tourism

New York, Rio, To... no - Einbeck! If you want to get an idea of what makes the international street art scene tick, you only have to travel to Einbeck once a year. Yes, that's right: To Lower Saxony, between Weserbergland, Harz and Solling. Every summer, sprayers, graffiti artists and facade painters create one of the world's largest outdoor galleries there. How did it come about?

Colorful birds in front of half-timbered facades. A man's shoe with angel wings. A house-high bearded Till Eulenspiegel with cheeky grinning problem dog. A beer-drinking duke with regional advertising mission. An original-grey fantasy animal made of dog, bird and fish. Or let's talk about this daring green suction-cup nozzle driven by pink cotton candy clouds... We could go on for a while with the enumeration of such exotic phenomena in Einbeck's cityscape. After all, this is only a small selection of all the motifs that can be seen in Einbeck in what is probably the largest and most colorful open-air gallery in Lower Saxony. Since 2014, renowned street artists from all over the world have been traveling to Einbeck to leave behind colorful testimonies to their profession. "Half-timbered meets graffiti" is the bold slogan of this festival, because until then Einbeck was probably better known as a tranquil little town with dignified half-timbered architecture, the regional Einbeck beer and Europe's largest collection of classic cars. A name as a meeting place for a young international graffiti and street art culture, however, was first made here with the SAM.

SAM, that's the abbreviation of the Street Art Mile in Einbeck, which was launched in 2014. The motto of this project speaks volumes: "Let our city become more colorful!" This happened in more ways than one: It made Einbeck known throughout Germany as a location for outstanding street art beyond its borders. Of course, something like this doesn't just happen. A brief historical digression must be allowed: in 2011, Kunsthaus Einbeck was founded under the direction of Martin Keil - at that time still mainly as a playground and cultural venue for more conventional art forms such as painting and sculpture. It was only through the Kunsthaus' youth initiative, YoungART, that the way was also paved for young street art and graffiti in the city. The rolling pioneer of the mural and sprayer movement was a wildly colorful painted articulated bus that cruised through the streets of Einbeck in full splendor for the first time in June 2012, familiarizing the citizens of the city of 31,000 inhabitants with this creative form of artistic expression. Finally, in 2014, the next step. At that time, the "monument activist, artist and culture creator" Patricia Keil organized the Street Art Mile for the first time together with the YoungArt initiative in Einbeck. Since then, the SAM has brought numerous international graffiti artists to the tranquil half-timbered town every summer - unless the Corona lockdown prevents it.

In fact, in the small town in Lower Saxony offers a charming visual contrast. Here, the dignified, traditional half-timbering for which Einbeck has always been known. In front of it, next to it, and sometimes above it, the wild, weird, and garishly colored artworks of the international mural scene. In the summer, usually on a weekend in August, renowned artists, some of whom have traveled to Einbeck from the USA or South Africa, repeatedly create exciting new ArtSpots in Einbeck. More than 60 of these spots can be permanently discovered in Einbeck - also as part of guided tours on foot or by bike - and the number is rising. For the SAM Festival - this year it will take place on the weekend of August 27/28 - there is always a colorful supporting program with live music and many activities for young and older art lovers. It is true that the open air gallery can be visited all year round. Nevertheless, it should be something very special for you to meet the artists from all over the world live in Einbeck on this weekend in August and to look over their shoulders as they create their works of art. Questions allowed! The motto of this year's - the now 9th Street Art Mile - is BLUE! From Betty Blue to the Blue Flower, the symbol of romance, is there in principle yes everything possible - surprises as in every year guaranteed.

Cover photo: The east wall in Tiedexerstrasse: DurchfART. © YoungArt Einbeck

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