Thomas Center Galleries Announce UNCONTAINABLE


The Thomas Center Galleries, in partnership with the National Institute of Urban Art, announce the opening of UNCONTAINABLE | Urban Art from Vandalism to Movement, on Friday, June 9, from 5 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. The exhibit features a collection of work of twenty-six globally recognized urban artists, some of which has never been exhibited previously, and will run from June 9 through September 9, 2017.

The roots of urban art can be traced to late 20th century graffiti – the stealth ‘writing’ and tagging on buildings and train cars documented in Philadelphia and New York. The early stage of the movement represented a kind of adolescent anarchy and was considered as blight and prosecuted as vandalism. Illegal graffiti nonetheless had its admirers – and a hierarchy of accomplishment elevated some of the “writers” as early heroes of the movement.
The artwork on exhibit in UNCONTAINABLE includes two collages by Brian Adam Douglas, a large-scale woodcut panel by Swoon, a rendition of the renowned Bowery Wall stencil piece by Logan Hicks, early silk screen work by Shepard Fairey, a large canvas by Axel Void, as well as work by Retna, Revok, Invader, Os Gemeos, Etam Cru, How, Nosm and others. Never-before-exhibited work by Michael Reeder and Juan Travieso will debut.
UNCONTAINABLE is curated by Anne E. Gilroy, Curator of the Thomas Center Galleries, and Craig O’Neil, founder of the National Institute for Urban Art (NIUA). In addition to the NIUA collection, work from the collections of Logan Hicks and Robert Meltser are featured. Both the Main and Mezzanine Galleries are part of the expansive exhibit. The work in UNCONTAINABLE shines a new light on Gainesville’s 352walls/Urban Art Initiative offering both history and context to the evolving downtown project. Select images from the exhibition may be viewed online at .

Visitors to the opening reception may join a bus tour introduction to the 352walls/Gainesville Urban Art Initiative from 5:30-6:30. This tour of the urban art walls in and near downtown is free. Seating is limited; bus tour sign-up sheets will be available at the gallery starting at 5 p.m.
The opening event will also feature a free screening of Saving Banksy, the recently released 2017 documentary film about arguably the world’s most renowned urban artist and the issue of art-world profiteering.  The film will begin at 7 p.m. Please note this film contains strong language and is recommended for adults only.
Thomas Center Gallery doors will open at 5 p.m. on June 9, with signup sheets for the bus tours.  The Thomas Center is located at 302 NE Sixth Ave., Gainesville, FL 32601. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Saturday 1-4 p.m. The galleries are closed for observed holidays. The public is welcome to this free event.

For additional gallery information, please contact Russell Etling, cultural affairs manager, at 352-393-8532 or visit For additional information about this exhibit, please contact Anne E. Gilroy, Thomas Center Galleries curator, at