African American Artist, Erbriyon Barrett has been commissioned by UofSC’s School of Visual Art and Design (SVAD) to paint a mural on the side of Bang Back Pinball Lounge located at 741 Saluda Avenue in Five Points.
Virginia Scotchie, Art Professor at UofSC, applied for the Elizabeth M. Marion Artist Award to bring Erbriyon Barrett to the Capitol City to paint a mural in Five Points. Mr. Barrett was chosen due to the School of Visual Art and Design’s ongoing mission to better support historically under-represented and undervalued voices and perspectives, which reflects their student and community diversity.
“It is such an honor to have Erbriyon Barrett come to Columbia, and especially Five Points, to create a mural,” states Professor Scotchie. “I first met Erbriyon when he visited Five Points to view walls available for his mural; however, I had heard about him through my son, Joseph Scotchie, who lives in Greenville, SC. Erbriyon was in the Upstate creating a mural for a business near my son’s place of residence. When Joseph met Erbriyon he was so blown away by his creativity, his community activity in painting the mural, and his warm and friendly engagement with the people who assisted him on the mural. Joseph let me – his artist mom – know that this guy was someone who needed to paint a mural in Columbia,” she continued.
Mr. Barrett will conduct a five-day workshop, lecture, and public art event from October 3-7, 2021. He will also conduct hands-on workshops and lectures for all areas of UofSC’s School of Visual Art and Design. The mural in Five Points will take three days, and all interested SVAD students will be invited to participate. Mr. Barrett’s lectures will speak to the development and concepts behind his art and the artists that he has mentored and influenced. Workshops will take place in McMaster College on UofSC’s campus. While at SVAD, Mr. Barrett will also create a ceramic tile mural with imagery painted on the tiles using ceramic slips and glazes.
Mr. Barrett has chosen a vibrant color palette and abstract design for the Five Points village mural. In speaking on his design style, Mr. Barrett states, “I’ve been told by several people that my abstract design could be seen as something that can be used on so much and spread all over the world. I’ve been really trying to push it out more and get it seen as much as possible. As for the colors, I love using bright, bold, loud colors because I feel they attract more of a crowd and draw people into my work.”
Professor Scotchie has been Head of Ceramics at UofSC’s School of Visual Art and Design since 1992. “Each year, faculty can propose artists to come to Columbia by writing a grant for their visit. Without any hesitation, Erbriyon came to mind. I wrote the grant, received the funding for his honorarium, travel, and supplies. From there, I worked closely with my friend Kelly Tabor, co-owner of Good for the Sole Shoes in Five Points, to find a wall,” shares Professor Scotchie. “It has taken a lot of work for myself, Erbriyon, Kelly, and the Five Points Association to make this happen, but we did it! On October 3rd, the real work begins…creating a spectacular mural by Erbriyon that our community in Five Points can take joy in!”
For more information on the murals and public art in Five Points, please visit FivePointsColumbia.com. To follow more of Erbriyon Barrett’s work, check out his Instagram.