When we think about murals they usually encompass this grandeur presence on the side of a huge wall. Something vibrant…maybe a portrait or landscape. What we don’t think about is all the red tape and paperwork it took for that mural to be there. All of the material and labor it took just for one vibrant surface within a community. Where is the value in art if people don’t have or are denied the access or the means to produce it? What happens if you live in a city is not an advocate for your creative expression? Future History Now wants to change that.
Future History Now is committed to creating collaborative art projects with kids and adults facing adversity. From city to city, this young traveling mural project is adding some color to local neighborhoods and working to provide the youth with artistic experiences. Collaborating with communities, from D.C to France to India and the Philippines, this organization is using art not only as a way to give back to these neighborhoods but to advocate and manifest a colorful future for the youth facing adversity.
“In the summer of 2016, my wife, Julia Gibb, and I staged a mural funeral in downtown Annapolis as a peaceful protest to city overreach regarding unauthorized regulation of one of our collaborative mural projects,” Jeff Huntington, Founder of Future History Now told Art Zealous. [We want] “ to teach problem-solving through the art making process with guidance from professional artists, mentors and volunteers, implement art projects that promote increased use of public spaces and unite communities through art projects that promote city pride,” he continued.
This project was born two years ago in Annapolis, Maryland and is the brainchild of artists Jeff Huntington aka JAHRU and Julia Gibb. By working with youth programs, schools, community centers, along with other artists and community members, Future History Now is building connections within communities through art engaging activities while simultaneously advocating for the youth. This project is for the young men and women, the students, the 9 to 5 day laborers, the artists, and the creatives that don’t have or have been denied access to these opportunities. In areas like the DMV, where artistic expression is subject to strict confines, Jeff and Julia create spaces where these kids can find the freedom to create and build relationships with others in their own community.
JAHRU, an established painter went from canvas to concrete walls, spray painting murals just 4 years ago and today his practice has turned itself into a non-profit organization. Teaming up with his wife Julia Gibb, a native Annapolitan artist, writer, and arts advocate, this duo has taken art activism to another level.
The two have collaborated on over a dozen projects, painting and screen-printing vibrant portraits and landscapes specific to the areas they travel to. They took their mission to Paris, Philippines and the Himalayas. Future History Now is bringing this project to all corners of the world in the name of art and its potential to affect change on the socio-economic and political spheres that dictate what and who has access to creative expression. Work like this is essential during a time where the marginalized are under threat. Future History Now is putting the work in the hands of the youth. Passing the torch of creativity if you will, and offering these experiences to those who may not have been exposed otherwise. Huntington says his favorite part has been “being witness to the healing powers art can have on an individual or a community.”
When we think of the future, we can’t forget it lies in the hands and hearts of our youth. Without organizations like Future History Now, who is there to advocate for the creatives in the generations to come? Art activism is happening now. Change is happening now. The future of art is happening now and it’s coming to your front door, one wall at a time.
To learn more about Future History Now, click here.
top image // Market House, Annapolis Project