creativity, culture, community
“Each year we select a unique artwork to represent the Atlanta Jazz Festival,” states Camille Russell Love, Executive Director of the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs. “This year’s winning design is by one of Atlanta’s most exciting young artists, Yoyo Ferro. The artwork features a fanciful trumpeter playing above a vibrant downtown Atlanta skyline. It truly conveys the sheer joy and free spirit that is jazz, and we feel it is a perfect fit for this year’s festival.”
Yoyo Ferro is an Atlanta based artist who is originally from São Paulo, Brazil. His artworks are a mix of colorful continuous line drawings on paper and canvas, and large-scale street art murals. His images are simple and unpretentious, and tend to resonate with art lovers of all ages.
“I like to make art that crosses cultural and socio-economic boundaries,” says Ferro. “I think art should be for everyone.”
Growing up in Brazil, you might expect that Ferro would be a big fan of Carnaval and Brazilian country music. But that’s not the case. Ferro quite literally marched to the beat of his own drummer, and played bass in a punk-rock band. He also started experimenting with art. True, he loves the bright colors that people associate with Brazilians, but he has a habit of mixing lots of colors in his work, including some that he’s been told “don’t go together.”
When asked where he gets his artistic ideas, he cites some unusual sources. “One of the best things about living near downtown is that I look at the Atlanta skyline every day. It’s very inspirational,” enthuses Ferro. “Also, I love to make art while I’m watching shows about history and aliens, everything from ‘Ancient Aliens’ to specials about UFO’s.”
One of the techniques that Ferro employs in his art is called “blind drawing.” This is when an artist talks with someone while drawing their portrait, never looking down at his work. The artist places his pen on the paper, and when he lifts it up, the work is finished. The drawing is one continuous line.
“’Blind drawing’ can be a very surprising experience,” says Ferro. “I think with so much technology around us and everyone using smart phones, we are not always gazing into someone’s eyes and sharing with them. So it can be an emotional thing. I’ve done these drawings a lot and fairly often people cry.”
When asked about the “Jazzlanta” artwork that he made for the Atlanta Jazz Festival, Ferro explains, “The cityscape that is part of the design is the view from my house. And to get in the mood, I was listening to some jazz while started this piece. I had fun creating it and I hope that shows.”
“I used to make posters for my punk-rock band and they never wanted to use them,” Ferro adds. “I feel so proud that now the Atlanta Jazz Festival chose my artwork for this year’s festival. It’s quite an honor.”
Sponsors for this year’s Atlanta Jazz Festival include MARTA, PNC Bank, Loews Atlanta Hotel, the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau, Standard Press and Fontis Water. To find out how your company or organization can be featured at this year’s festival contact Laura Moody at the Office of Cultural Affairs at LMoody@AtlantaGa.Gov.
Social Media: Find out about all the latest festival news, enter contests, and join the conversation! We’re on Facebook: AtlantaJazzFestival; Twitter: AtlantaJazzFest and Instagram: Atlanta Jazz Festival.
The 39th Annual Atlanta Jazz Festival is presented by the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs. The mission of the Atlanta Jazz Festival is to educate and entertain a diverse audience of jazz fans and to nurture the next generation of jazz musicians. The festival is partially supported by Atlanta Jazz Festival Inc, a 501(c)(3) cultural, non-profit. There will be 31 Days of Jazz in May, culminating with three days of music in Piedmont Park over Memorial Day Weekend, May 27-29. For more information, visit: www.atlantafestivals.com.
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