Date of Award


Document Type

MA Project - Restricted Access (SIA Only)

Project Type

MA Project - Business Plan

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Contemporary Art

First Advisor

Brendan Burns

Second Advisor

Morgan Falconer


he contemporary graffiti art scene is a vast landscape of interconnected communities of artists and creatives working to support each other in life and art. However, due to the insular nature of these communities, they are often inaccessible for those outside the graffiti art environment, making it hard for newcomers to learn about the medium and establish relationships. Sledgehammer wishes to address this deficit of understanding between contemporary art buyers and the graffiti art communities, bridging the gap between these two cohorts by bringing art directly to buyers. Sledgehammer is an alternative art fair and gallery business concept incorporating works by contemporary graffiti artists from the New York City and Philadelphia area. Sledgehammer aims to present works in an unconventional manner, drawing inspiration and “DIY” methodology from the street art community that it represents. Often, contemporary artists with substantial representation in the art market are sourced from Masters in Fine Arts programs. Yet many artists don't have access to MFA programs, due to costs, accessibility, and the exclusive nature of these programs. Acceptance to an MFA program is a major career boost, putting those unable or unwilling to attend such a program at a
disadvantage. Exposing the fine art world to grassroots graffiti art aims to strengthen the connection between the two cultures. Sledgehammer will have no dedicated physical space. Instead, it will operate out of a box truck. This will allow Sledgehammer to set up temporary exhibitions at various locations, "crashing" major art-world events. A box truck’s mobile nature is a specific draw for graffiti
artists; as it drives through a city, the work is exposed to a greater audience than it would be if it were painted on a wall. Sledgehammer works in line with this mentality of exposure as the truck travels to various art world events. Sledgehammer will target the upper echelon of the art world and high-profile art events bring together the target audience of high-net-worth collectors, buyers, and art event organizers.