Concordia’s Own Chief Squad Makes a Fine Mess Indeed

Artists Battle at Foufounes Électriques to Cover Its Walls with Graffiti

  • photo by Kate Made.

Last Wednesday, Foufounes Électriques was invaded by a hoard of graffiti artists that covered the walls of the venue with their canvases. Created by Fresh Paint Gallery, Beaux Dégâts is a project that aims to promote and encourage the practice of graffiti and street art. The latest edition featured a fresh-faced team of three Concordia students.

Naming themselves Chief Squad, the team is composed of Alex Leonard, a.k.a. Chilly Mac, Nada Moharam and Heather Holland, known as P3zz. They were the first team of students to participate in the monthly live art showdown.

Since they knew each other before the event, Chief Squad gelled as a team almost effortlessly.

“If one of us needed a change of pace or a change of workspace we could easily swap,” said Chilly Mac.

“We played to each other’s strengths,” added p3zz.

Beaux Dégâts offers a laid-back environment for artists of all backgrounds to come together and create murals based on a theme chosen by a draw. The teams have thirty minutes to brainstorm and sketch their ideas on paper. When prep time runs out the real competition begins, leaving teams two hours to complete their works of art.

Chief Squad didn’t let the pressure get to them. “Once we had the brush to the canvas, we were in the zone,” said p3zz.

The public voted by putting their empty beer cans in their favourite team’s recycling bin, with the winning team returning for the next month’s battle. The teams with the most amount of wins throughout the year will repaint the entrance of Foufounes Électriques during the upcoming Under Pressure Festival.

“We were super nervous in the beginning because we’ve never done something on that scale before,” said p3zz.

“Being stressed about it made me go faster,” added Nada.

Once the initial nervousness of competing against more experienced artists had passed, Chief Squad pulled through and collectively made the mural their own.

The members of Chief Squad made sure their personal styles shined through as they incorporated elements of collage and mixed media into their piece. They deliberately played with humour to contrast the dark images that steadily filled their canvas.

For this Halloween edition of Beaux Dégâts they decided to go “towards a comic book/cartoon sort of style,” said p3zz.

“In the end, I love how gory it got,” added Chilly Mac.

The artists were blown away by the openness of the people at the event and found it to be an incredibly supportive learning environment.

“We had lots of random people come up and talk to us and ask us about our art and that was so cool,” said Nada.

“It was stressful how many people were behind us but also very encouraging,” added Chilly Mac. “You constantly feel like there are so many people watching your process but at the same time we did have a lot of our friends there supporting us.”

The team raved about Beaux Dégâts’ ability to brings all kinds of people, who aren’t usually involved in the art scene, together to experience art in a fun, not-so-serious way.

When asked if they would like to participate again, all three teammates responded without hesitation.

“I would love the opportunity to come back again because now we know what to expect… I’d be down to do it again in a heartbeat,” said Chilly Mac.

“We would kill it next time,” added p3zz.

Chief Squad finished proud of their work and were voted third place out of six teams.

Beaux Dégâts #26 // Foufounes Électriques (87 Ste. Catherine St. East) // Wednesday, Nov. 26 // 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. // $5

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