In 1990, Russell Howze saw graffiti on an apartment wall in Clemson, SC that was made with a stencil. Then, in 1995, he saw another stencil work on the wall of the Reischstag in Berlin. So he took a photo. He continued to spy stencil graffiti and kept snapping his camera.
By 2002, he had enough pictures to create an on-line archive. The site was open to others to upload images and it took off. Now the website boasts over 10,000 photographs of stencil work across the world.
You can probably guess what happened next...book deal! "Stencil Nation" is now available and Howze will be signing it at Wet Paint Art Supply in Tempe tomorrow night.
The 8x8 inch book is filled with more than 540 photographs from over 350 artists from 28 countries.
Tomorrow, starting at 4pm, Howze will lend his signature to his fresh book pages and will present his one-hour slideshow (that he's toured across the U.S., Australia and Europe) after sunset.
It all goes down in the parking lot outside of Wet Paint with DJ's, snacks, live art and stencil art shows at neighboring Cartel Coffee and Ghosticorn Apparel.
On Tuesday, May 4th, Russell Howze will be at Wet Paint Art Supply from 4-9pm, 225 W. University Dr. in the University Plaza, 480-967-2002, www.wetpaintaz.com.
For more info about Howze, visit www.stencilarchive.org or www.stencilnation.org.