The streets of Brisbane are about to become a whole lot more colourful as the Brisbane Street Art Festival returns on Saturday 4 May.

For two weeks, the best artists from around Australia will converge on Brisbane to (literally) paint the town red in a showcase of live art, exhibitions, performances and workshops.

The festival famously takes place all over the city and this year, Fortitude Valley plays host to several temporary walls on Wickham and Brunswick Streets, where artists will create public works for all to see.

With just days left before the festivities officially kick off, let’s take a look at the artists performing in the Valley at this year’s Brisbane Street Art Festival.

Benjamin Reeve

You may already be familiar with the work of Benjamin Reeve, as his early art could be seen along Brisbane’s train network until about the year 2000. Since then, he’s made a name for himself having his work featured in both local and international productions including big-budget films and large-scale murals. Catch Benjamin in action when he returns to Brisbane this May.

Where: Brunswick Street Mall

When: Sunday 5 and Saturday 18 May at 12pm

Blu Art Xinja

Breaking away from traditional ideas of street art, Blu Art Xinja aims to bridge the gap between graffiti and street sculptures. His distinct blue creations stand out against the darker reds and browns of the urban environment, making them easy to spot in otherwise busy areas. Keep an eye out for these brilliant, blue sculptures bursting forth from the walls of Fortitude Valley.

Where: Fortitude Valley

When: Sunday 5 & Saturday 18 May at 12pm

Dank Zappa

Ruben Stocks has immersed himself in the global graffiti culture, taking inspiration from the streets, underground music, and the influence of fine art on his childhood. As Dank Zappa, he’s created a style that’s simultaneously self-reflective and grappling with the unknown. Watch these worlds collide on Wickham Street during BSAF.

Where: 301 Wickham Street

When: Sunday 5 & Saturday 18 May at 12pm

Irok

Making his mark in the local graffiti scene while growing up in Brisbane’s western suburbs, Irok’s passion carried him beyond the limits of spray paint and into the realm of brush and acrylic paints, with which he’s created a style of his own. Irok’s use of drips and splatters create chaotic scenes that remain truthful to his perception of his home and the world at large.

Where: 301 Wickham Street.

When: Saturday 18 May at 12pm

Mark P

Originally from Samoa, Mark P has made Brisbane his home and laboratory to develop his printmaking and mural work. Mark P explores his heritage through a contemporary art style that creates new ways to perceive the themes and motifs behind his work. Check out his mural skills on Saturday morning in Wickham Street.

Where: 301 Wickham Street

When: Saturday 10 May at 10am

Queensland Poetry Festival

Witness the formation of a wall of words as six of Australia’s most exciting poets come together to create a spectacle of original poetry and illustrations. A collaboration between the Brisbane Street Art Festival and the Queensland Poetry Festival, join the team of emerging artists as they blend together the worlds of poetry and public art for all to see in Brunswick Street Mall. 

Where: Brunswick Street Mall

When: Saturday 18 May at 12pm

Rachael Sarra

Rachael Sarra creates art that tells stories. A modern, Indigenous artist from Goreng Goreng country, Rachel uses her vibrant, colourful style to educate people about the history and culture of Australia’s Indigenous people while exploring and strengthening her own identity. 

Where: Brunswick Street Mall

When: Saturday 18 May at 12pm

Roms

With 31 years of street art experience, Roms has solidified his distinct style of contrasting colours and detailed line work to clearly highlight specific, sometimes unusual, motifs. Getting his start painting inner city car parks in the late ‘80s, Roms’ murals are instantly recognisable, and it would be a joy for any Brisbane resident to watch him create on Wickham Street.

Where: 301 Wickham Street

When: Saturday 11 & Saturday 18 May at 12pm

Scribble Slam: Zurik vs. Kristopher Ho

Welcome to Scribble Slam! Two artists, two blank canvasses, and 90 minutes to create two original artworks. Host Shani Finch keeps the energy high providing play by play analysis as the talents of Zurik and Kristopher Ho battle against each other to determine supremacy on the canvas - it’s easily the most explosive way to get inside the creative process of the local artists.

Where: Ric’s Bar. 321 Brunswick Street

When: Sunday 12 May at 6pm

The Valley is ready to come alive with these colourful, new creations but with so much going on, you’ll need to head over to the Brisbane Street Art Festival for the full list of artists and events.