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UNFRAMED Urban Art Expo + Jam is a one of a kind event that brings together street artists, art vendors and urban art lovers of all ages to honor the impressive legacy of the pioneers of street art & graffiti. The artist line up consists of pioneers of the culture, as well as contemporary urban artists, international and local.

UNFRAMED Urban Art Expo + Jam presents a unique collection of urban art in all its forms. Explore the exposition inside,or sit back and enoy the live jam outside!

UNFRAMED Urban Art Expo + Jam also offers several different educational programs and workshops to inform groups and classes about the history and backgrounds of urban culture and of course, about the featured artists and their work.

URBAN ART – WHAT EXACTLY IS IT? The term “urban” means “of the city” and is derived from the Latin word urbanus. Urban Art is associated with art made by artists who live in (large) urban areas and who use their urban surroundings as inspiration and canvas.

Urban Art in its purest form is graffiti. The term graffiti comes from the Italian word “graffio”, which means “scratching”. Graffiti is often associated with gang-related markings of territories and a means of getting attention or conveying a message. Graffiti is one of the first visual and simplest forms of human expression. Early examples can be found in the public seating areas in the Colosseum in Rome, and in the corridors of the Pyramid of Cheops in Cairo, where the graffiti is scratched into stone and is still legible to this day. This is where the terms “graffio” and “graffiti” originate from. Of course, techniques and materials have developed and changed over time, but the foundation of the art remains the writing of a message in public space.

The Street Art movement began to be recognized as a real art movement in the 1970s and has its origins in the substantial international graffiti community that began to use the urban environment and public transportation as a platform for their art, most of the time illegally. Graffiti and Urban Art are often a social commentary in the form of text art, carried out in the most diverse types of writing and methods such as wheat paste posters, stencil art and stickers. Graffiti and Urban Art are traditions that go far back in human history and are still used today as a personal outlet, as an art expression or as a social and political protest.

Street Art, or Urban Art has become a widely accepted artistic genre and is increasingly being embraced by the general public and art institutions. Some of the big names in contemporary art, such as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring and Kaws, have become famous because of their creative output on the streets.

One of the most important effects of the rise of Street Art today, is the redefinition of the perception by the public of what art is. By bringing art to the streets, artists have freed their art from the confinement of the gallery walls, and are giving the public different insights into where and how art is to be viewed.

UNFRAMED wants to display the versatility of Urban Art by presenting a unique combination of Graffiti (old- and newschool) and Street Art in a one-of-a-kind location, of which both the interior and exterior will be used for the Expo and Live Graffiti Jam. UNFRAMED also offers wide arrangement of activities, including guided tours, graffiti workshops, art and dance competitions.

UNFRAMED has the ambition to become a permanent and dynamic platform for all forms of Urban Art, artists and Urban Art enthusiasts.

Heerlen = Urban: unfinished, raw, open to experiment and explore more contemporary experiences, is innovative, young and creative in spirit. Heerlen is unique in the Euregio with its choice for an urban city brand. Heerlen adds something very essential to the urban quality of the Euregio. Heerlen has the ambition for innovation and the space to experiment. This is expressed by attracting events such as IBE, Pro Freestyle, Night in the Woods and now also with the UNFRAMED Urban Art Expo + Jam to Heerlen.

By strongly focusing on the urban profile, Heerlen focuses on the existing strength and identity of the region. Completely complementary to, and therefore attractive to, the inhabitants of cities like Sittard-Geleen and Maastricht, but also the Euregional interaction with Aachen, Cologne, Hasselt and Liège should not be underestimated, all knowledge economies with a large amount of students and creative industries.

Those who walk through the city center of Heerlen in 2018 are constantly stimulated and surprised. A compact and therefore busy area where the shopping and catering industry is trendy, contemporary, but above all very diverse in character. Where the public space is a stage for events, experiments and encounters, in an urban atmosphere.

UNFRAMED Urban Art Expo + Jam fits seamlessly into that urban atmosphere and has the ambition to become a yearly recurring event to be able to create a platform for knowledge-sharing about Street Art & Graffiti; the artists and their work; the origins of Urban Art and the significance of Urban Art in society today and in the future.