The celebrations for her book Perfect Match make up part of the launch festivities of the Inner West Council’s (IWC) EDGE festival, which runs from today until November 16.
EDGE showcases urban artists and vibrant communities of the inner west, and Vassallo’s book is a perfect example of the combination of art and community spirit which is intrinsic to the area.
Ten years ago Vassallo won an artist grant to write a book about graffiti and street art in the inner west, through then-Marrickville Council.
The book was published in 2009 to critical acclaim.
From there, Vassallo continued working with council, taking street art tours through Newtown as a local guide.
“I tell stories about the artworks,” Vassallo said.
“People that I’ve taken on tours just love the stories so I thought, why not write the stories down, because people are really interested in the art.
“I love this, because street art used to be vandalism, but now people are wanting more and more of it.”
The title of the new book is taken from IWC’s initiative to prevent vandalism like tagging and graffiti, by matching local home-owners with artists, who are given the opportunity to create large, cutting-edge and highly visible works, instead of tagging under the cover of night.
Vassallo said that this program was the first of its kind and also highly successful in supporting the arts and bringing community together.
But the title also refers to the serendipitous story of a local couple, who had their wedding photos taken in front of their home, which is decorated with a gorgeous artwork by Ox King.
The photo was a perfect match for the cover of Vassallo’s new book.
Vassallo is of Italian heritage on her mother’s side, and Maltese heritage on her father’s side.
She was born in the inner west and has lived in the area her whole life.
Perfect Match will be launched at Newtown Square (The Hub) in Newtown tonight at 6:00 pm, with live music and free ice cream for the kids!
It will then be available for sale at Better Read than Dead, Modern Times, Kinokuniya and Gleebooks.
Visit the IWC’s website for more details.