The W’ALL seeks to combine music and visual art to become the largest ever crowd-sourced piece of art for social good. We intend to raise consciousness and critical funds for issues of social, environmental, and mental significance by reframing the concept of “the wall” as something that can promote unity and beauty.
The inspiration for The W’ALL came to artist Tim Wakefield in 2016.
Tim, the mind behind Soundwaves Art Foundation, was troubled by the intolerance and impatience that characterized public discourse. Words were getting harsher. Face-to-face conversations were migrating to digital commentaries. Divisions festered and opinions calcified. At the center of much of this fracturing was discussion about a rumored wall to be built on the southern border of the U.S.
As a proud immigrant to the United States, these discussions got Tim thinking: walls don’t have to be bad. They support roofs over our heads. They sprout murals and mosaics to brighten our day. They can even be Wonders of the World.
Soon, a concept for an art project to reclaim the concept of a wall was born. What if there was a physical space that could unite us and spark joy? A place to offer common ground, step up to intolerance, and boldly demonstrate that the vast majority of people are still good?
And what if we used music, one of humanity’s great common denominators, as the driving force for its success?
Tim formed a team of creatives, makers, and philanthropists to further explore the idea of a physical space. From that initial concept grew a larger, more robust vision of mixing sculptures with live music, community space with art exhibitions, and a global online fundraiser campaign with a local public arts park.
The central piece? A giant wall.
Unlike the wall debated via social media, this wall would unite and strengthen our community rather than divide and subvert it. Rather than barbed wire and sharp metal, this one would be constructed out of bricks, vinyl, sculptures, recycled instruments, and more all adorned with beautiful song lyrics submitted by the public one by one. This would be a wall for all: W’ALL.
The team got to work sketching out plans for the complex, crunching numbers, and crafting a blueprint for the W’ALL. They engaged with musicians, city council members, artist management companies, everyday Austinites, welders, sculptors, sound engineers.
In April 2019, the W’ALL team met Mosaic Sound Collective, who had been building an affordable work space for the creative community of Austin. They happened to be looking for more tenants. Within a few weeks, the W’ALL had begun construction at Mosaic.
The result is unlike any project Austin has seen before. The space fuses together different components into one immersive and stimulating experience:
Crowd-sourced arts project: We’re trying to build the largest participatory arts project for social good ever. Each lyric submitted and added to the W’ALL gets us closer to our goal!
Fundraiser: At its core, the W’ALL is an interactive and inventive way to generate donations for non-profits doing critical work to fight for social and environmental justice.
Music Venue: Sitting underneath a canopy of trees, our music venue offers the most intimate way to see your favorite bands, catch a film screening, or attend a lecture series.
Art Park: From the giant W’ALL, to mosaics made out of painted vinyl records, to installations inspired by iconic songs like Radiohead’s “Fake Plastic Trees” and Sting’s “Message in a Bottle,” the space features an array of colorful and interactive pieces of art inspired by music. The indoor art gallery also displays rotating exhibits of visual artists from across the globe.
Community Space: The W’ALL is open to everyone. Working with our partner Mosaic Sound Collective, we host educational workshops, film screenings, lunch and learns and a variety of other opportunities for Austinites to learn from and interact with each other.
We want visitors to have fun, but we also hope to get people thinking about the ways the world is hurting and what actions each of us can take – ordinary or monumental – to mend it.